Snow Driving Groundhogs South to Florida Sun
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
While today’s nor’easter piles on more snow and sleet from Virginia to New England, Florida residents are reporting groundhog sightings across the Sunshine State – a full week ahead of Groundhog Day.
Warmth in Florida, such as 75 degrees today in Miami, is thought to be behind the sightings.
“Florida doesn’t usually get an influx of groundhogs until after they do their forecasts, but this winter, there’s really nothing left to predict: It’s freezing up there and it’s warm down here,” said Kenneth Morgan, spokesman for VISIT FLORIDA. Of all 50 states, Florida alone has had no snow on the ground this winter.
Photos of groundhogs enjoying Florida beaches and golf courses have been popping up on Facebook pages and websites the last few days. “People get excited about spotting celebrity groundhogs and send us the pictures,” Morgan said.
Various reports say several famous groundhogs regularly spend burrow time in Florida.
“We’re proud to welcome the little guys – and everybody else who wants to thaw out,” Morgan said. Florida businesses have gathered together winter relief packages to help their neighbors to the north. The packages, planning tools and travel tips are all online at Visit Florida and via smartphones.