On Groundhog Day: Icy roads, delayed start to school

  • A driver closes the door to his car after it ran up on a snow bank at the exit 1 of I-89 South on Friday, Febuary 2, 2018 as two New Hampshire State police cruisers block the eixt ramp for safety. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Friday, February 02, 2018

Rain that turned to snow and then ice overnight led to slick roads and a delayed start for many school districts Friday morning.

For the second day in a row, plows were out on the roads, but mostly just to spread salt and sand since the amount of snow that fell was barely more than a dusting. 

Overnight on Thursday what started as rain turned to snow early Friday leaving icy roads. Police departments reported several accidents on Friday, which is Groundhog Day. Once the sun came out temperatures rose, but highs weren’t expected to get above freezing.

Farther south, Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog predicted no early end to winter.

The handlers of Punxsutawney Phil said the furry rodent has called for six more weeks of winter after seeing his shadow at dawn Friday.

The top hat-wearing members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle reveal Phil's forecast every Feb. 2. It is based on a German legend surrounding Candlemas. The legend says if a furry rodent casts a shadow that day, winter continues. If not, spring comes early.

In reality, Phil's prediction is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler's Knob, a tiny hill just outside Punxsutawney about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.