Campus meteorologists sadly confirmed this week what many students hoped would not be true, that Gainesville can expect over a month more of this dreary and chilly Florida winter weather.

Most students have begun to buy their swimsuits and started working on their tan by late March, but this year is different. Rawlings Area Ricky, one of the hundreds of campus raccoons who survives off of our Subway scraps and midtown pizza crusts, emerged from his home in a trashcan to see his shadow on Monday morning.

“Usually Ricky comes out of his hibernation and gets to work collecting old candy wrappers,”

Said Raccoon Observer and Biology Professor Ermen Hernst.

“But this time he came out, and looked right at his shadow like he knew it was there all along. I think he was relieved to go back into his cave.”

Although UF students aren’t very happy about the seasonal news, many can relate to Ricky’s choices and have decided to head back into hibernation themselves. Sabrina Thebes, 20, said she too took one step outside her house this morning and decided to go back to bed.

“This weather makes me want to set up shop in my bed, not venture out in the world and take midterm exams,”

Said Thebes, who did in fact spend the day watching re-runs of the Big Bang Theory instead of going to her Psychology 1 class.

“It doesn’t help that this time last year I was taking trips to the pool and wearing tank tops.”

Because of all the uproar around Ricky’s sighting, Hernst and his team have promised to keep an eye on the raccoon and the weather just in case he was somehow wrong. But Hernst says this is more of a gesture than anything else, as he is certain the results won’t change.

“Doesn’t get much more accurate than a ‘coon in a dumpster.”