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Now we know that all you folks in the rest of the country just swear by our cousin Punxsutawney Phil and his shadow, and we agree that he does just fine for back east, but you know everything's a little different in Oklahoma, especially our weather.

So we've turned to a native son for our weather prognostication, a little fellow who feels the changes in the earth long before those of us walking on the surface are aware. If you want to know when Spring is coming to Oklahoma, ask Hank. Like the rest of us, he always has an opinion.

Yes, he makes other predictions, but like the rest of us in Oklahoma, he sometimes gets bumfuzzled by the signs. So, just to keep him humble, we keep score.

We give him a when he's right,

and a when he's wrong.

We hope you'll come back to visit our little critter every now and again, and see how he does outguessing the contrariest weather in the country!

Our thanks to

for Prairie Dog graphics
Library photo of Hank, Spring 2005 Hennessey Hank
The Prairie Dog Prognosticator

Hennessey Public Library Hennessey Storm Country

February 3, 2017--Early spring after puny winter. Sprinter?
Schizophrenic weatherNo winter to speak off. Call it an early spring. Look for a scorcher of a summer starting right smack dab on the 4th of July. Dry. Really dry.

Lots of rain until there wasn't any more. Drought broken and then back.  Nothing new...January 22, 2016--Early Spring!
Watch for the guy comin' through sellin' tickets to an ark... Goin' out on that limb again this year and predicting an early wet spring, rain into June and then dry, dry, dry. HOT summer!

Mostly yes--early summer was a drought-busting rain, then dry January 26, 2015--Oklahoma Surprise--No Surprise.
Think Snow! Dry spring, late, after a nothing winter that won't get in gear until February. Warm days and then ice--you know the drill.

C'mon Hank, you can do better. January 29, 2014--Heck If I Know...
I don't know... You tell me! Guess I'll go with an early spring again this year. Got blasted last year, but a fella can't always be right, now can he? Crocus is staying underground, but those daffy dillys are testing the air, so I'll go with spring and regular visits from the Polar Express.

Hank!  You failed us!  We're freezing.  At least your eastern cousin got it wrong too. January 22, 2013--On Again/Off Again
I don't know... You tell me! Early spring--trust me... The temperatures will be up and down, but more up than down. Don't look for much from the flowers though, and be sure you've got a reliable water supply before trying a garden. The drought won't turn loose this summer.

Mostly yes, if he meant the lack of moisture would be summer.  We were swamped in the spring, but in severe drought by July. January 31, 2012--What Winter???
Didn't even get to hibernate this year. You're asking about spring when we haven't had winter? It is spring. We'll get walloped sometime before St. Patrick's Day, but spring is already here and will bounce back. Not much moisture, though. Dry summer--hot. Bugs'll be awful. This too shall pass.

He called it. January 20, 2011--Roller Coaster Spring.
Brr! I'm ready for spring! Not much of a winter but, still, a late spring. Temps will be moderate and up and down with late freezes after the fruit trees have started to bloom. It's Oklahoma.

Library photo of Hank, 2006
Wow, Hank, when you're wrong, you're really wrong!  It was a late winter that didn't want to turn loose. January 28, 2010-Early Spring.
Not much winter this year, but what we had was horrific! Spring will come early and be violent. Cold snaps and tornados are coming, but the crocus and daffodils are already coming up and the birds didn't go much further south than Dover. Don't plant annuals 'til May 1st.

It was early, but up and down. January 24, 2009-Early Spring.
After a roller coaster winter, I'm ready for spring! The trees aren't budding , but Hank's going out on a limb. Spring will come early with a late freeze after the roses have leafed out and it will be a dry year. Check those water hoses this winter--you're going to need them.

When it finally warmed up for good, it got hot! January 19, 2008-Brrrr...Late Spring.
Good year to sleep in. Temps are up and down. Crocuses are late. Daffodils will bloom on time, but will be nipped by cold. Hank predicts that there will lots of warm days, but winter won't give up easy.

The drought was definitely broken and then it got steamy.June 13, 2007--Wanta Build An Ark?
Thought about buying a new burrow.  This is a good year to float a loan... Hennessey's a little soggy. Hank predicts the rain will continue into the summer, but come to an end after the 4th of July.

Brrr! We thought spring would never come! Wow, Hank, when you're wrong, you're really wrong! January 20, 2007--February Thaw
Brr!  I wanted precipitation, but not like this! Cold and wet down the prairie-dog hole, Hank keeps digging out and predicts an early but skittish spring--February warm-up with unexpected cold spells.

Drought worsens.  This time, we wish Hank had been wrong. March 13, 2006--Desert Spring!
Hank predicts short dry spring, hot summer.