What will Punxsutawney Phil say when he takes the stage?

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Almost forgotten among all of the attention given to the 2014 Super Bowl is the annual rude awakening of a resting rodent and his thoughts on the upcoming spring – if we get one. Punxsutawney Phil Sowerby and his ancestors have participated in Groundhog Day since 1886. However, this year offers interesting possibilities for Punxsutawney Phil.

 Punxsutawney Phil: The scene

That’s when the residents of Punxsutawney, Pa., population 5,962, circle around Gobbler’s Knob to see if Phil can view his shadow at precisely 7:27 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 2.

If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow on Groundhog's Day, according to folklore, winter will last another six weeks.

If not, winter’s end will be quick to come.

Punxsutawney Phil doesn’t have a metrological degree and can only communicate his outlook to the select members of his inner circle. However, a resting rodent must have a better chance of correctly predicting the weather than anyone who has tried to forecast an approaching snowstorm during the winter of 2013-14.

Punxsutawney Phil: Possible outlooks

Luckily for Punxsutawney Phil, long-term weather models indicate he might be correct no matter what type of forecast he utters on Sunday.

By the way, Punxsutawney Phil’s wake-up weather forecast on Sunday in Punxsutawney calls for temperatures in the 20s under a cloudy sky.

So a quick end to winter is sure to come. Right?

Well, not if you live among the northern tier of states that have endured temperatures 10, 20, and 30 degrees below normal, says the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center.

Much of the United States will suffer through another month of below-normal average temperatures according to one long-term model./Weatherbell Analytics, www.weatherbell.com Much of the United States will suffer through another month of below-normal average temperatures according to one long-term model./Weatherbell Analytics, www.weatherbell.com Punxsutawney Phil: Possible February outlook

The most recent run of the NCEP Climate Forecast System temperature forecast for February 2014 shows much the cold will continue for much of the upper third of the county. Upper Midwest residents could endure a month where average temperatures are 10-20 degrees below normal, according to the NCEP CFS forecast. The Northwest, Northeast and Middle Atlantic states will experience closer to normal temperatures. However, temperatures will remain below normal as they have for the past two months in those areas.

California and the Southeast will get normal and above-normal temperatures in February, according to the NCEP CFS forecast.

Temperatures will begin to average above normal in March./Weatherbell Anaylitics, www.weatherbell.com Temperatures will begin to average above normal in March./Weatherbell Anaylitics, www.weatherbell.com Punxsutawney Phil: When does it warm up?

While temperatures have been warming up in January, they’ve remained below normal daily averages since December.

But a change is coming, yes indeed.

Unfortunately, the change is coming in March when nearly two-thirds of the nation will be at normal or above-normal average temperatures, according to the NCEP CFS.

Then the above-average heat stays around for several months.

Temperatures in most of the United States stays above normal through September, the NCEP CFS says.

Need to learn more:

Go to Punxsutawney Phil to learn more about the world-famous, four-legged weather forecaster.

For daily weather updates, trivia, long-term trends and more, make sure to like Shore Weather Today on Facebook.

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