Phil sees La Nina

On a morning that put Pennsylvania on ice, Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow this morning, nor did any other organism in the state as best as we could determine.

In the folkloric tradition, that means spring is near. As for details about precisely when and where and just how much above-normal temperatures will be over a given area, don't ask.

We can't vouch for the prognosticator's credentials, but one wonders whether the groundhog forecast might work out better than some of those pre-season winter outlooks by the credentialed scientists.

The consensus was that this was to be the winter of La Nina, that mass of cooler than normal surface waters in the tropical Pacific.

After a cool start, La Nina figured to affect upper-air weather patterns across North American in such a way as to bring general warmth to our region in January and February.

We're willing to give February a chance, although another storm is possible this weekend, and the 6-to-10 day outlook sees continued cold.

Otherwise, Philadelphia stands at 37.8 inches of snow and counting, with December-January temperatures running close to 4 degrees below normal.

For a fascinating discussion of what went wrong, see the item below, "'Hurricane' vs. winter."

That's Hurricane, as in Glenn Schwartz, the NBC-10 meteorologist, who offers his perspectives on why the last two winters have been incredible, and what it all may mean for the future.