Weather may affect Groundhog day forecasts

Will the ground hog see his shadow tomorrow?
Will the ground hog see his shadow tomorrow? Olivier Douliery / Abaca Press / MCT

A weak cold front will affect Charlotte-area weather today and early Thursday, and it will have an impact on Groundhog Day forecasts Thursday.The frontal system is approaching the western Carolinas today and spread plenty of clouds and a few showers into the region Wednesday morning. Forecasters expect the chance of showers to increase later this afternoon, as the front gets closer.

The clouds are having no impact on our mild temperatures, though, with National Weather Service meteorologists predicting highs today in the upper 60s. That's far above the average high of 53 degrees for this time of year.

The most likely time for showers tonight is from about 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. Thursday, although a few showers might linger into the morning hours, forecasters say. But partial clearing is expected sometime after sunrise.

Just how soon that clearing arrives will have a big impact on Groundhog Day predictions.

Legend says that if the groundhog sees its shadow on Feb. 2, it means six more weeks of winter. If there's no shadow, the legend says, winter is ended.

Some might argue that winter never started this year, as a La Nina condition and other factors have combined to keep cold weather bottled well north of the Carolinas. Temperatures in December and January were well above seasonal averages.

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