Jan 31, 2011

Six more weeks of "tourist season?"

By continental standards, south Florida doesn’t have a winter …

Does that mean we don’t have a Groundhog Day, either?

European ancestor of Punxsutawney Phil, as seen at a Zoo in Germany

Groundhog Day marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, or in other words – it’s the mile marker on the calendar that celestial winter is halfway through. Up north on the snowbound parts of the continent that makes it a day of eager anticipation. Tradition has it that if Pawnsxatawny Phil emerges from his hole to see the sight of sunny skies (and more importantly – his shadow) then an early spring is on hand. If skies are cloudy and his shadow is no place to be found, plan on six more weeks of winter instead.


Here in Florida the underlying assumption of Groundhog Day falls apart …

Especially the farther you go south:

Snow birds in flight (figuratively speaking)

We don’t have any snow nor do we even have a “winter season:” we call the cool half of the year the dry season instead. Our cold spells are “here today, gone tomorrow,” quite literally only lasting a day (or two), never a week consecutively (or only rarely) and even on those the core part of the cold brunt only skims shallowly below the 32 Fahrenheit mark ...

Truly “freezing” temperatures persist for a few hours at most.


So, if winter doesn’t exist then neither does Groundhog Day, too … right?

The caveat is that more “winter the noun” on the continent translates into more “winter the verb” on the south peninsula. Thus if Punxsutawny Phil doesn’t see his shadow, that could equate into more northern snowbirds flocking south to Florida’s sunny shores.

Snowbirds take roost over warm Florida waters (also figuratively speaking)

Or in other words,

Six more weeks of peak Tourist Season for the Florida peninsula!

2 comments:

Janie said...

With all the storms and icy weather on the east coast this year, you probably have lots of snow birds flying south to winter with you.

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Very true, it's been one heck of a winter up on the continent.