It's Groundhog Day!

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Yes, it's Groundhog Day and Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil did indeed see his shadow, which means he predicts six more weeks of winter.

But dissatisfied with the opinion of a singular varmint from the North, the WAFB Storm Team went the extra mile on Thursday to get the collective wisdom of the four-legged forecasting domain. In the end, our survey included more than two-dozen furry forecasts, ranging from groundhogs, woodchucks and various other ground-huggers from across the U.S. right down to the Baton Rouge Zoo "town" of prairie dogs interviewed by WAFB's Greg Meriwether.

Our list includes New Iberia's own Pierre C. Shadeaux, Atlanta's General Beauregard Lee, and Ohio's Buckeye Chuck, to name a few. And while years of experience like Phil's is important in the weather forecasting game (just ask the venerable Mike Graham), youth and new perspectives have their place.

In the end, only two of Punxsutawney Phil's fellow fur-casters agreed with his outlook: every other prognosticating mammal, marsupial and ring-tailed species called for an early spring, including Acadiana's Pierre!

And given the rather mild winter thus far along with the extended-range climate projections for the coming weeks, the Storm Team is backing the critter-cast consensus!