Groundhogs Day is celebrated each year on February 2nd. The Largest celebration of Groundhogs Day is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania with a groundhog that goes by the name of Punxsutawney Phil. It is said that if Phil were to leave his burrow on this day, and see his shadow, then there will be six more weeks of winter. If Phil does not see his shadow, then spring will come early.
Now the official calendar start to spring this year is March 20th, 2014. But I'm sure people are more interested in finding out when the weather will reflect the season.
Let's first take a look at a few of the previous years and see how Phil's predictions held up with the conditions. It is interesting to note that Phil has seen his shadow 101 times and has not seen his shadow only 17 time!
Here is a look at the past 4 years:
In 2011, Phil did not see his shadow, hinting at an early spring. That year, we began to see temperatures reach into the 70s as early as March 13th! We would continue to see days peak above average into the following week helping to push for an early spring. March 13th however is rather close to the six week mark that would have been set if Phil did see his shadow.
In 2012, Phil saw his shadow, signifying six more weeks of winter. Now during that year, we did see temperatures reach the 70s by late February with some spring like thunderstorms as well. Warm air would return briefly at the beginning of March, but consistent spring like weather would not return until about March 14th. Though teased with an early spring, I'd say Phil was pretty close in his prediction that year as well.
In 2013, Phil's shadow was nowhere to be seen. The 17th and most recent time this has happened. This would hint at an early spring for 2013. Last year, however, we experienced many days with temperatures well below average through the month of March and didn't see strong hints of spring until early April. This would turn out to be a bust for Phil. We can't get them all right!
So in the past three years I's say Phil is looking at a winning record of 2 and 1.
Now this morning Phil saw his shadow, which means we are looking at six more weeks of winter. With the frigid and harsh winter we have been experiencing, six weeks is not something to look forward to. All we can do at this time, however, is wait and see how the next few weeks pan out.
Until then, I will be here to forecast until next year when Phil makes yet another appearance. Happy Groundhogs Day!