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Long Island Groundhog Day forecast: Chance of shadows

Throw in early morning patchy dense fog in

Throw in early morning patchy dense fog in Suffolk County, and it's advisable for drivers to use special caution Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, the National Weather Service said. Credit: News 12 Long Island

At first blush, Thursday morning’s weather may not appear to be of great import.

But much is riding on sky conditions shortly after dawn, at least when it comes to rodent folklore.

That’s as Long Island’s two groundhogs — Malverne Mel and Holtsville Hal — are to emerge shortly after 7 a.m., or thereabouts, to find sunny skies, cloudy skies or a combination thereof.

As legend goes, if a groundhog doesn’t see its shadow, spring can be expected to arrive early. If the groundhog sees its shadow, then we get six more weeks of winter.

In the case of Thursday’s conditions for Hal and Mel, News 12 Long Island meteorologist Rich Hoffman said that they “will likely see their shadows,” pointing to mostly sunny conditions with a mix of some clouds. That’s as of his Wednesday morning forecast.

Tim Morrin, National Weather Service meteorologist based in Upton, introduces a little more suspense to the scenario.

Not about to comment on the rodents themselves, he did share weather conditions, saying that around that time of morning, about 30 percent of the “celestial dome” — that would be the expanse of sky we can see from horizon to horizon — is forecast to be cloud covered.

But, there’s no way to say at this point if those clouds would be blocking the sun.

So, there’s only one thing for it — tune in Thursday, as the Island’s star rodents take center stage.

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