GroundFrog versus GroundHog

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As an atmospheric scientist, my role is to interpret a wide range of information...even unconventional provide new insights into meteorological phenomenon.  I will do so here.   During the last week, two animal prognosticators have provided a vision of the weather future that are seemingly at odds, but really aren't.

The Snohomish GroundFrog reveals his secrets
On one hand there is the well-known frogprognosticator of Snohomish, Washington--otherwise known as the GroundFrog.   At a solemn ceremony on Saturday, the wise frog predicted good weather for the remainder of the winter for the Northwest--a prediction that is consistent with the latest two-week forecast of the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center for the western U.S. shown below.  Red indicates temperatures above normal.  No snow worries here.

On the other hand, Punxsutawney Phil, the well-known groundhog of Gobbler's Knob, PA, saw his shadow today, which implies 6 more weeks of winter.

Let me assure you that these forecasts are not inconsistent, considered their locations.  An atmospheric upper level pattern with a ridge over the West Coast and a trough over the eastern U.S. is consistent with their predictions and is quite reasonable.  In fact, here is the latest 15 day forecast at 500 hPa from the NWS GFS model that is showing such a feature--ridge over the west, trough over the east.

 Clearly, the innate wisdom of animals has something to teach us.
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