Oregon Will Have An Early Spring Based On Forecasters, Human and Hedgehog

Feb 2, 2015

It's been a really warm winter so far in Western Oregon. On this Groundhog Day, we checked in with the National Weather Service for a forecast.

Oregon Zoo curator Michael Illig with Whiskers J. Hedgehog.
Credit Oregon Zoo

Punxutawny Phil of Pennsylvania saw his shadow, which means 6 more weeks of winter. That's may be true for the east coast, but not in Oregon. Meteorologist Amanda Bowen:

Bowen: "Any local groundhogs likely would not have seen their shadow, since it was fairly cloudy so that would theoretically indicate an early arrival of spring for us and sure enough we're expecting warmer than usual weather over the next month or so."

Bowen is with the National Weather Service in Portland. She says rainfall is about average, but snowfall in the Oregon Cascades is at 15 percent of normal.

Bowen: "That means that we won't have very much snowmelt later in the spring so that could very much affect our water supply later on."

The Oregon Zoo is celebrating its own-west coast version of Groundhog Day with a hedgehog by the name of Whiskers J. He reportedly did not see his shadow this morning.