PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA, is the home of the famous furry weather forecasting groundhog "Punxsutawney Phil" who according to folklore, annually emerges from his burrow on Groundhog Day (February 2) to predict the first day of spring weather depending on his shadow. For me it's a summer-time stop on my virtual walking journey more than 2650 miles from home. The name Punxsutawney translates from a Native American term "town of the mosquitoes" -- and I'm happy to report those pesky bugs weren't anywhere to be found. Come to think of it, neither was Phil anywhere to be seen!
However, the town has made the most of its weather prediction theme by promoting a science and folklore center to educate the public about catastrophic weather conditions such as storms, lightning, thunder, tornadoes and hurricanes. The exhibits also explain how animals react to extreme conditions and how they predict the weather as a survival tool.
Mark Twain is famous for having said, among other things, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” But the town of Punxsutawney has proven him wrong -- they have promoted the art of weather forecasting into a successful tourist attraction.
Week 32, Miles 2650, Weather 88F⛈