As Punxsutawney Phil takes his turn, winter is still nowhere in sight, real forecasters say

Anthony R. Wood, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Weather News

PHILADELPHIA -- Above-normal temperatures in January:

Boston: 9 degrees above normal

Burlington, Vt.: 7.4 degrees above normal

New York: 6.5 degrees above normal

Chicago: 6.3 degrees above normal

Philadelphia: 5.9 degrees above normal


Regardless of whether Punxsutawney Phil does or does not see his shadow Sunday morning, the winter of 2019-20 indisputably has been a shadow of itself. And the higher-order mammals who forecast the weather say it is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future.

In fact, it might be time to issue an "Amber Alert" for winter, Judah Cohen, a scientist with Atmospheric and Environmental Research in Massachusetts, suggested this week.

All winter, models have consistently promised cold shots, behaving something like the SEPTA app on a snowy day: When you get to the station its says the train is three minutes late, then five, then 20. Then the train is canceled.

"I'm not complaining," said Mike Halpert, deputy director of the government's Climate Prediction Center, whose winter forecast did favor above-normal temperatures in much of the nation. He obviously doesn't run a ski resort.


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