Today they will help us shed light on what weather to expect this spring. They will also give us their call on whether or not punxsutawney phil will see his shadow on groundhog day. On that big day february, 2nd accuweather will be keeping a very close eye on what happens now to get us started. Well, you can see. We’Ve got a lot of people here. We want to introduce you to our panel, but first we have a surprise, guest, stephen tobolowski. You might remember him. He played the role of insurance salesman, ned ryerson in the movie groundhog day and has had over 250 appearances in film and television. Welcome stephen thank you, it’s nice to be here all right, we’re good to have you we’re, going to be hearing more from you. A little bit later on, but now we want to meet the panel of weather experts first we’re, going to head our way across the country to los angeles california, where abc 7’s meteorologist leslie lopez is joining us today, hi leslie hi. How are you guys, i’m doing great over here, excited to be part of this panel, good stuff we’re, going to be checking in with you but we’re going to head our way now across the plains where well, you know what he does once it’s springtime he’s chasing Tornadoes we were able to lock him down to have him here to help us make our call with punxsutawney phil let’s welcome extreme meteorologist, reed timmer hi reid hi.
Thank you so much for having me never stop chasing. I knew he was going to say that today and ready to make his groundhog pick from chicago illinois is abc 7’s meteorologist larry mowry how’s it going larry great hello from chicago. Thank you for having me and i got to give a special shout out to stephen because i’m, just down the road from woodstock illinois, where they filmed groundhog day. So all the good people in woodstock send their love and say hello, stephen it’s great, to have you with us and down the road a little from the prognosticator himself, a neighbor of phils from philadelphia, wpbis meteorologist, chris sauers hi, chris hello. How are you good to have you here today, we’re ready, we’re ready? Thank you, it’s uh it’s pleasure to be here i’m. Looking forward to this glad to have you here, can’t wait to hear more and from accuweather’s headquarters in state college pennsylvania. We have the 2011 inductee to the weather discovery center hall of fame, retired accuweather meteorologist, elliot abrams, elliott, we’re glad to have you here today glad to be here uh now you can recognize me. I guess, but this is a very weighty matter of trying to predict what’s going to happen for the groundhog, but one day spring will arrive and some people are waiting for that day. Sooner rather than later and finally, accuweather’s long range forecast, forecaster, we have dave samuel with us today, dave hi glad to be here and we’re going to take a look at whether through the spring, what we expect and maybe what phil will be coming up with on February 2nd, so thanks for having me i’m glad to be here all right, thank you and welcome everyone.
I imagine punxsutawney phil is being pampered by his inner circle and resting up for his big day. Accuweather has also been doing a little work of our own accuweather spring forecast, isn’t, officially released until february 3rd, but our dave samuel is here with a preview dave. I know you’ve been looking at a lot of data. What can you tell us? Yeah i’ve been combing over it with paul pastelok our lead, a forecaster in the long range here at accuweather, and it looks like we’re going to have a very interesting spring we’re going to have a lot of cold weather across the northern tier of the country, and It looks like the southern tier will be warm, so it looks like the jet stream will be a little stronger than normal. That could lead to an above average of season four tornadoes, but as far as wind spring begins we’re thinking that it’s going to be a delayed start across the northern tier, more or less a continuation of winter through the month of march we’re expecting temperatures to be Below average right from the pacific northwest through the northern plains right into the northeast and in fact parts of new england, they could have some of their worst weather. Yet to come later on in february and into march haven’t seen a whole lot of nasty weather. Yet we had one bad storm in december, but we’ll likely be piling the snow on right through at least march and even into early april before it finally starts to feel like spring and on the flip side of the coin across the southern tier of the country.
It’S been a little chilly across the gulf coast in florida. Does look like things? Will warm up and we’ll have a mild weather for the rest of february and into march expecting temperatures to be above normal southern plains into the southwest? I think that’s, where the warmest temperature temperatures compared to normal will be we’ll, see basically spring starting right out of the gate so phil. If he was looking at the weather down, there probably will not see a shadow spring starts right away. Texas, oklahoma, on through the southwest it’s bad news, we’re at a major drought situation there and that looks like it will be worsening as we head through the spring looking at some storminess, but not as much as you would hope to see during the month of during The spring season, and with this cold air to the north of the warm air to the south, there will be a clash of those air masses. Severe weather could be a big problem, especially in april and may recent cold weather across the southeast has kind of held down the gulf of mexico. Water temperatures they’re running a little below average right now, but i think they’ll gain some ground in february and march and that could lead to some nasty weather april we’re forecasting about twice the average number of tornadoes across the country. It will be a rough month. The way things look right now, a lot of information there dave. Thank you so much for that great breakdown, and now that you’ve heard from the accuweather expert it’s time to talk about phil and his life on gobbler, snob phil’s day is february 2nd groundhog day.
The movie with the same name is one of the greatest comedy films of all time. We have a special guest who can give us a little perspective of what it was like to be part of that film. Now stephen, i got ta know when you were filming that movie back in the 90s did you have any idea that it was going to become such an iconic movie, not at all and not at all? We, in fact it was more like gorilla film, making harold ramos decided after he started, shooting he and danny rubin started rewriting the script uh, and we had no idea what we were going to end up with at the end, but i’m certainly happy with, with the Results: everyone in the grocery store, except during the pandemic, because i’m wearing a mask, will say bing when they see me. Thank you so much steven we’re going to hear from him a little bit more later on but february 2nd for the last 180 years. Crowds from around the world flocked to see if a groundhog will see his shadow or not seeing his shadow means six more weeks of winter now to get things started, we’ll go to our special guest stephen, how exciting it must have been to do a movie with Bill murray: did you get a chance to meet the real phil and, while you’re on set did phil teach any groundhog ease that maybe gives you an upper edge here i did get to meet the real phil in punxsutawney.
They asked me to come up on stage and be one of the men with the real phil and i have to say it was a holy experience, all right, stephen quickly. Is it shadow or no shadow? I think the groundhog will not see a shadow. You’Ll have lots of rain, but you won’t have winter chris shadow or no. What does philly say all right up to this point? The east coast has been saying what winner we haven’t had a winner yet, but i do see some signs right now that we are going to get in to some winter weather in the future. So i’m going to say he sees his shadow six more weeks of winter, all right. How do you feel about it in chicago larry same here in chicago, very little winter so far, but we’ve got six more weeks of winter coming colder with more snow too. All right, i think the sun will shine on los angeles, no matter what phil see the what phil sees what’s the call out, wes leslie yeah, i think you’re right. I think it’s going to be sunny here in southern california and dry, so he is going to see his shadow because it means it’s going to be wet for you and dry for us. So if he’s going to see his shadow in punxsutawney, yes, i don’t think he’s going to see a shadow over here in california, though so just keep them over.
There guys we’ll see what we can do: reed you’re an experienced extreme meteorologist. What do you think shadow or no shadow? Well, i think here in tornado alley, the woodchuck sees a shadow, i think, six more weeks of winter, a late start to tornado season here in the great plains, but it’s going to be active all right. We want to bring it home now. Dave you’ve probably had the most time. Looking at this forecast, i know you see it one way. How do you think phil is going to see it? Well, i think, even though we’re going to see some mild weather in february it’s going to get cold again later in the month and through march so i’m going to say he will see his shadow and scurry back into the hole and get ready for six. More weeks of winter good answer last, but certainly not least, our hall of famer elliott abrams elliot. What do you think the shadow is going to be seen? However? It won’t be the sun’s shadow, because the sun is hidden from the groundhog’s actual view by a little hill at punxsutawney, but it’s going to be six more weeks of winter or perhaps a month and a half we’ve heard from our panelists now let’s hear why they Think the way they do before we hear from our panel i’ll remind everyone that accuweather long range, forecaster dave samuel said this about the spring forecast. He expects that severe weather will continue to increase as we go through late march into april.
Drought conditions will continue to persist across the southwest and the moist pattern is expected to continue across the pacific northwest and the rockies reed i’m sure you’re going to be abandoning the snow chases soon to get ready for severe weather season this spring. What are your expectations for this season? Well, you may remember the last couple years it was a pretty early start to tornado season. We were already chasing during parts of january last year. January 9 was a really big event. January 10 also had many tornadoes and that’s, because there was there were el nino conditions in the tropical pacific, so we had a very energized southern stream to the jet that was pumping, moisture, bringing with it disturbances as well early on in the year and that’s. Why? We were chasing in january february and then again in march as well and then across dixie alley. It was also active through about easter, but then it began to subside a little bit this year, though it’s very different than it was the previous years. We have cold water in the tropical pacific, that’s a la nina out there, as i mentioned the last time we saw that was 2011, and that was one of the most active springs in recorded history, especially april with over 700 tornadoes. But it was a later start to that tornado season. During february and march of that year, everybody was wondering if it was going to be a very below average year and then the bottom dropped out in april starting april 9 in the central plains.
I was very active up in iowa the mapleton tornado event. There april 10. We were chasing tornadoes in wisconsin with snow on the ground and then dixie alley came alive on april 15. There were over a hundred tornadoes a couple weeks after that we had the infamous super outbreak, with over 360 tornadoes across over 20 states over a three day period and i’m, not saying that’s going to happen again, but i do think we’re going to have a very Energized consolidated jet stream across the united states, open wave storm system after storm system moving across the united states, bringing with it severe weather, but i think it’s going to begin in april. Like everybody said a later start, but it’s going to be an incredibly active season for tornadoes and severe weather, a lot of good information there reed. Thank you so much larry i got ta know what are you thinking about in chicago? Will people have to hold on to their winter gear for a long time? I think so. In fact, the past couple of years we’ve had snow well into april, so i think that’ll be the trend again this spring, but i think kind of how the rest of the winter and early spring will play out, for us at least, is slightly above average. Temperatures that’s been the trend for several months now. In fact, 10 of the past 12 months have been above average in temperatures here in chicago, but we’ll have slightly above average temperatures but more precipitation, so there’s always the chance that can lead to more snow and i think, as we get into more active weather in The spring we’re certainly going to get more snow chances here up and through the the middle part of january.
We’Ve had very little snow here in chicago less than 10 inches, which is just incredible for us all. Right we’ll see how things go out there and they could use some of that moisture in the southwest wildfire season seems to start earlier and earlier each year. In fact, we’ve already had some fires started this year in 2021. Well spring bring some more moisture for the residents in the southwest leslie. What are you thinking out there in california it’s been a pretty strong la nina for us here in southern california. So, yes, i think it’s going to be a dangerous fire season, that’s going to continue drought conditions, that’s another thing to be concerned with, as we enter the spring and then the summer months. So i think yes, you said it for us in southern california, it seems like the fire season goes year round. Unfortunately, it’s – probably a pretty tough one this year, all right, not sure anybody wants to hear that from the fire officials to the residents out there. Hopefully they get some moisture now it’s a different story as we head our way toward the east coast. What are you forecasting in philadelphia? Chris uh? I know you’re a winter lover. I follow you on social media what’s the forecast looking like there in pennsylvania, then you know okay, so it’s interesting and you know i’ve listened to what everyone else has said and – and i agree with almost everything that they’ve all said.
You know we have a very active la nina pattern. The pacific jet has just been roaring across the lower 48 that’s brought mild conditions to the area right now, but also we’ve had a sudden stratospheric warming event take place and it is unbelievably cold right now. In places like europe and asia places that never get snow or just getting walloped right now, we’ve got a good block to the north up in greenland, and i think what’s going to end up happening here at some point. You’Re going to get somewhat of a cross polar flow and there’s going to be a little bit more arctic involved in this pattern, and i think we’re getting a lot of rain events right now. But i think at some point down the road here, we’re going to start tapping into that arctic reservoir. It will get colder and yeah we’re going to get some chances of snow that’s. Why? I think he’s going to see his shadow, i think we’re going to get a little bit more in the way of cold, the second half of february into march. Remember i was mentioning those bookend winners around here where march or excuse me, where november and march are cold, and then sandwiched in between december january and february are mild and i think that’s pretty much how it’s going to play out again this season as well. All right good analysis there. Thank you, chris elliott. What patterns do you think will drive spring weather that wade into your answer? Well, right now, we’re in the depths of winter, the cold ice coming from the arctic, a land where a woman or man must go prepared or not go at all a land locked at snow at the year round.
The land where the tender tundra is all too quickly covered by the first snows of defender, never to be seen again to the following june, a land better known as buffalo, but that cold air is going to continue to come in for the next. Several weeks. To months and there’s, something more than el nino, too la nina, we have blocking in the upper atmosphere across the north and there’s, been a big stratospheric warming. Now, what does that have to do with down here? Typically, when we have the big stratospheric warming, it gets cold in the central and eastern states. How long will it last no one’s sure, but i do believe, we’ll climb, the green mossy banks of springtime. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw some dandelions after a while, and then there will be the flowers and then the crops will grow and with all the work that the leaves are going to do. I would predict that next october and november the leaves are simply going to detach from the trees come back off again. We’Ll have to start all over again all right and now you’ve heard what to expect this spring from philadelphia to chicago and across the plains. To los angeles, we’ve been hearing about the possibilities for an early spring, along with our panel of experts, a groundhog is going to weigh in to answer that on february, 2nd once more we’ll go back to stephen for a little groundhog day.
Insight now stephen, when you were shooting the film, how did weather play a role on the set? Oh, it was, it was terrifying, it was terrifying, it was so cold. It was like an army experiment. I remember when bill stepped into the puddle of water. He had a plastic wrapped around his foot, then a neoprene sleeve that skin divers wear over that and then he had several pairs of socks. I i i have to say that it was not icing and snowing at the time, so the set people put styrofoam on top of the phony puddle, so it looked like bill was stepping into ice, but it was so cold. No ice could exist. It was like a temperature, you would find uh springtime on mars. It was like 30 40 below it was terrible and the torrent of expletives that came from bill every time he stepped in the water was terrified, but it did lead to one amazing moment in groundhog, and that is bill was finished with patience and at the end He has to leave with andy down the street and the snow after the rehearsal of the scene, blocked the gate and he couldn’t open it, and so, rather than wait for the crew to dig him out, he lifted andy up over the threshold and out into the Street, and so we have that beautiful, ending because bill could not take it anymore and very quickly. My last question uh what’s, the most memorable thing from being a part of that movie, oh uh, most memorable thing is being on this panel today.
This is this is, and i’d never be on this panel, but what weren’t for me being in that movie all right, good response there stephen! Thank you so much as we look back over our panelist picks. The meteorologists overwhelmingly agree that phil will see his shadow and that we are in for six more weeks of winter. Our special guest stephen, however, sees things differently. I’M sure there are a lot of viewers that hope, you’re right, stephen and we get an early spring, regardless of what phil says on february, 2nd, be sure to head over to accuweather.com on february 3rd, for your full spring forecast and no matter what be prepared. Any weather situation accuweather has you covered with accuweather minutecast now giving you a four hour advanced view, so you know what to expect and when to expect it.