Georgia’s most famous groundhog, General Beauregard Lee, declared spring to be just around the corner after emerging from his plantation-style home at Gwinnett County’s Yellow River Game Ranch on a cloudy Thursday morning and seeing no shadow.
According to weather lore, if the groundhog sees his shadow on Feb. 2, there will be six more weeks of winter.
That’s what happened Thursday in Gobbler’s Knob, Pa., where Punxsutawney Phil made his annual appearance.
Gen. Lee got a little backup from a new weather predicting friend in South Georgia. At Albany's Chehaw State Park, Asante, an African meerkat, also failed to see his shadow.
Gen. Lee’s prediction of an early spring was a no-brainer after the warm weather that has graced metro Atlanta for most of the winter so far.
Since the Dec. 22 winter solstice, Atlanta’s average temperature has been above normal on 34 days, exactly normal on two days and below normal on only six days, according to the National Weather Service.
The warmest day so far this winter was Jan. 26, when afternoon temperatures reached 71 degrees. The average temperature that day was a whopping 18 degrees warmer than normal.
The mercury has dropped below freezing on only nine days, the coldest being on Jan. 3 and 4, when lows hit 22 degrees.
Atlanta’s weather will continue to be warmer than normal into next week, according to Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Karen Minton.
Highs will be in the upper 60s on Thursday and mid-60s on Friday, Minton said, but there’s a chance of more rain over the weekend.
Minton is forecasting a 60 percent chance of rain on Saturday, diminishing to 30 percent on Sunday and Monday. Highs will be in the mid-50s on Saturday, warming back up to the low 60s Sunday and Monday.
Overnight lows will continue to run about 10 to 15 degrees warmer than normal, bottoming out in the mid-40s to low 50s.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.