Bill Murray, we feel your pain.

In his classic film, the actor's weatherman is trapped in Punxsutawney, Pa., forced to relive "Groundhog Day" over and over again.

The monotony tests his sanity — each version of Feb. 2 the same bleak, snow-bound prison of day.

Kind of like our winter so far.

We get it — 'tis the season and all. This is Pennsylvania, and it's going to snow in December and January.

But like this?

Every week, it seems, brings another 4, 6 or 9 inches. Snow on the ground doesn't have a chance to melt before the next storm dumps a new cover.

That's because when the snow isn't falling, we're freezing in freakishly low, "polar vortex" temperatures.

County schools even closed last month because of the dangerous, sub-zero lows — much to the consternation of a hardier bunch than us.

Most students have now lost at least a week of school because of winter weather. They're probably enjoying their time off now, but they likely won't be so happy come spring.

Nearly all districts' calendars have now been extended, with at least one planning classes through mid-June.

Schools are required by state law to be in session 180 school days, although the Department of Education can grant waivers in extreme situations.

So far, the department isn't ready to allow shortened school years — and a majority of Dispatch readers in a recent poll said it shouldn't.


If this winter continues as it has, though, that attitude could change as graduation plans and family vacations are thrown into disarray.

Punxsutawney Phil, for one, doesn't see a respite in weather any time soon.

The furry prognosticator, the bane to Murray's protagonist in the film, saw his shadow Sunday and predicted another six weeks of winter.


Murray eventually learned to embrace his "Groundhog Day" loop, and hilarity ensued for all.

There's hope for us, then, if life really does imitate art.

For now, though, there's nothing funny about this winter.

In fact, the story is getting pretty old.