Seasoned Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore is making his way to Pennsylvania to cover the Groundhog Day news of Punxsutawney Phil. He’ll begin broadcasting live in the wee hours of the morning on Groundhog Day. Saturday also marks the 2-year anniversary of Jim’s hilarious reaction to thundersnow in Chicago, which occurred on Feb. 2 in 2011. On Feb. 1, Cantore tweeted, “The party is in Punxsutawney! See you there.” Later on Friday, he retweeted a video of the Chicago thundersnow incident.
According to the official Punxsutawney Phil website, event organizers are expecting their largest crowd ever on Groundhog Day 2013. According to legend, if the country’s most famous groundhog sees his shadow, six more weeks of winter will ensue. If he doesn’t, an early spring will follow. In recent years, Phil saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter, in 2012, 2010 and 2009. He called for an early spring in 2011.
On Jan. 31, The Weather Channel compiled its list of “Top Groundhogs to Watch” and Punxsutawney Phil topped the list. Staten Island Chuck, General Beauregard Lee from Atlanta, Dunkirk Dave from NY, and Chattanooga Chuck rounded out the top five. Buckeye Chuck from Ohio, Sir Walter Walley from Raleigh, Jimmy the Groundhog from Wis., Malverne Mel and Holtsfield Hal from NY, and Woody from Mich. also made the list.
On Feb. 2, The Weather Channel will offer uninterrupted coverage during a special called “Decision 2013: Phil’s Forecast." It airs from 5 a.m.-noon on Groundhog Day 2013. Co-anchors Jim Cantore and Jen Carfagno will report live from Punxsutawney.
In addition to being Groundhog Day, Feb. 2 is also the 2-year anniversary of Jim Cantore’s historic live broadcast when he reacted to thundersnow in Chicago. To date, the video has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. While reporting during Chicago’s third-largest snowstorm in the city’s history, Jim Cantore encountered thundersnow, an extremely rare occurrence, while the cameras were rolling and his reaction was priceless. Be sure to check out the video to the left. “That’s unbelievable! Oh my goodness. Holy smoke. Just incredible,” he exclaimed during the classic Weather Channel on-air moment. The January blizzard crippled Chicago and residents dug out of feet of snow for days afterward.
So, Jim Cantore goes from thundersnow to groundhog reporting in two years, proving wherever weather is making headlines, he’s sure to be right in the middle of the action.
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