Backyard Almanac: The January wrap-up and the February outlook
Don't expect any groundhogs to see their shadows next week - they'll all be sound asleep.
January was colder thank normal by about 7 degrees, the coldest since 2014. Even though there was slightly more snow than normal, much of it was so light and fluffy the total precipitation for the month is below normal.
The days continue to stretch: our days have about 9.5 hours of daylight now, but by the end of the first week of February that will grow to nearly 10 hours. But don't expect any predictions from groundhogs next week. Contrary to the folk myth, groundhogs (Marmota monax, also known as woodchucks) are still hibernating in early February. We won't see black bears yet, either. Even though they don't hibernate, baby bears will be cuddling close to their hibernating mamas for a while yet.
But, birds are keeping fed, squirrels are beginning their pre-mating behavior, and many other animal tracks are abundant as well. As Larry Weber says, "Things are happening, so take care and enjoy. There's lots of wonderful winter to come!"