"Phil Got The Forecast Wrong"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, April 8, 2016

Weather forecasters and Punxsutawney Phil sure got it wrong. Phil must have crawled out of the wrong hole and he better stay underground for a while.

Didn’t anyone pass the word to Mother Nature that spring had arrived? She seems to be confused because spring storms do not arrive with heavy snow — and they are popping up all over.

Areas forecasted to receive much needed rain are still dry and towns already underwater are still getting heavy rains.

Today I got a report of snow from Lake Orion. Port Austin and Bad Axe chimed in with the same snow news. There was 3 inches in Lake Orion and 8 inches at the tip of the Thumb. Friends from the west side of Michigan who were headed home today learned they could expect snow when they arrived. Another friend from Buffalo, New York, heard from his son who works with the snow removal crews. He said they worked to lay up their equipment, and then had to get it back in operation.

We know that Buffalo and the Niagara Falls area normally receive well over 100 inches of snow each year but this year it registered about 5 feet less than that. Perhaps Mother Nature got word of this fact and is trying to catch up. The Midwest is not the only part of the country displaying weird weather. In Southern Florida unusual weather patterns have been occurring for some time, record heat has been recorded way ahead of time. There was no spring and temperatures in the mid-90s have been common for weeks. Wonder what the summer weather will be like?

My reports from Arizona are they have not yet reached into the 100s but expect that will soon change.

The weather people and Phil were not the only ones to make poor forecasts. The Old Farmer’s Almanac (I have a current copy) has also been way off the mark. I guess all of them are like me: They just make uneducated guesses. Weather just keeps reminding us that all bets are off.

As I sit writing this column here in Florida, a cloudburst of some of the heaviest rainfall I’ve ever seen came out of the sky. Roads were instantly flooded from side to side and boats would have been a better choice to move about.

I will forecast that the Tiger’s first week at home will be very cold and attendance will be low. I’ll also forecast that our area’s July weather will be very warm. Folks from Pte. Aux Barques will return from around the country and other countries to enjoy the beauty of our lake and farmland. Perhaps they will appreciate our stable, summer weather.

The Grindstone gang will be hauling out their golf carts and the charter captains in the harbor will be returning to go after the lake trout. Marinas from Harbor Beach to Sebewaing will fill up with yachts traveling and anglers heading out to fish.

After a few more weather surprises, the flowers will begin to bloom — again, and trees will fill out and fields will be ready for planting. Grass will appear — again, and need cutting plus our area golf courses will be open and ready to get the season started.

Our small towns in the Thumb will turn from sleepy to lively. All the fun activities we enjoy each summer: fishing, swimming, boating and the many annual events will get underway.

As I see it, as soon as you put the snow shovels away you can get your spring chores done and look forward to kicking back to appreciate all the things so many visitors flock to our area to enjoy.

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