Groundhog to say whether winter will stay Friday
For the fifth year in a row, Buckeye Chuck, Ohio’s Groundhog Day weather prognosticator who makes his home at WMRN Radio in Marion, Ohio, did not see his shadow Monday morning, which means spring should come early.(Photo: , Bill Sinden/The Marion Star)Buy PhotoMARION The power is in the name.
Buckeye Chuck has been predicting whether winter is here to stay or will subside early ever since the 1970s. He was named Ohio’s official weather prognosticating groundhog in 1979 by the Ohio General Assembly.
This year will be no different. But the groundhog itself could be.
WMRN AM, the local radio station that puts on the event, gets the groundhogs for the event on loan from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, said Paul James, WMRN program director.
Some Buckeye Chucks are better than others at studying weather patterns and reading the signs of the sky. Last year, the groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter, only for the month of February to turn out to be one of the warmest on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Maybe this year will bring a better weather reading groundhogthan last.
“We are always hopeful for a very accurate prediction,” James said, though he acknowledged Buckeye Chuck’s forecast often depends on how cloudy or clear the sky is on GroundhogDay morning.
No matter what kind of weather forecaster Buckeye Chuck is, it will not deterGroundhog Day enthusiasts from heading out to the WMRN studios at 1330 N. Main St. Friday fora live broadcast of the groundhog’s proclamation.
“Even though it’s folklore, the amount of people who really buy into it amazes me every year,” James said, adding that there are visitors who travel from out of state to see Buckeye Chuck hand down a prognosis.
The story goes that Buckeye Chuck emerges from his den, in the woods behind the studios of WMRN, to deliver the weather forecastof the weeks ahead.
As legend has it, if Buckeye Chuck sees his shadow at sunrise, Ohioans will have to bear six more weeks of winter.