Groundhog, forecast predict more cold

Published 12:43 am Tuesday, February 3, 2009

If expected temperatures for the rest of this week are any indication, it’s no wonder that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow Monday.

Six more weeks of winter are predicted for the nation, and in Covington County, residents can expect their fair share of freezing temperatures.

Forecasts for the next two days predict lows below freezing, said Jeremie Schafer, the assistant director of the Covington County Emergency Management Authority.

“The forecast right now is predicting a low of 25 (degrees tonight) and 19 (degrees) on Wednesday,” she said. “So, there is a possibility of a hard freeze on Thurs-day.

With all this cold weather, people need to remember the ‘four p’s’,” she said. “People, pets, plants and pipes … they all need to be tended to when weather gets this cold — our elderly neighbors, especially.”

Schafer also reminded residents to be cautious when heating homes with space heaters.

“Those things can get very hot,” she said. “Make sure to keep space heaters away from any flammable objects — like curtains and furniture –—and keep those areas well ventilated. If they aren’t well ventilated there is a possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning.”

By the weekend, temperatures should climb back up to the high 60s during the day and 50s at night. By Sunday, daytime temperature is predicted at a partly cloudy 70 degrees with a 10 percent chance of rain.

According to German superstition, if a hibernating animal casts a shadow on Feb. 2 — the Christian holiday of Candlemas — winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow is seen, legend says, spring will come early.