Pioneer Mountains from Baldy

Snowpack in the Pioneers, seen here from Baldy on Jan. 25, got off to a fast start before stalling last month.

The famous weather-predicting groundhog Punxsutawney Phil gave a nod of approval Thursday to an official long-range forecast for the rest of the winter—at least for Idaho and some other parts of the Northwest.

In an annual ritual on Groundhog Day every Feb. 2 in Pennsylvania, Phil reportedly saw his shadow when he emerged from his den this week, thereby predicting six more weeks of winter weather.

Despite the tradition’s unscientific nature, the rodent’s prediction is in line with recent long-range forecasts for the Northwest issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


Federal forecasters have predicted that the next three months will likely be wetter than normal in much of Idaho.