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GROUNDHOG DAY 2012: 6 MORE WEEKS OF WINTER… OR MAYBE NOT

According to folklore, the sighting of Phil’s shadow this morning in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania brought news of 6 more weeks of winter.

Today, known as Groundhog Day, made famous by Bill Murray’s 1993 movie Groundhog Day has become somewhat of a National pastime. Hundreds of people, news outlets and possibly even Groundhog lovers, gather in Punxsutawney for this annual tradition to see whether or not there will be 6 more weeks of winter.
Should Phil not have seen his shadow, that would have meant we’d have an early spring.

Most of us right now aren’t prone to believe this forecast, considering a major part of the country is experiencing temperatures 20-30 degrees above normal for this time of year. And our neighbors to the North of us would have to agree with this sentiment as Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam and Ontario’s Wiarton Willie both failed to see their shadows this morning. Which means, according to their traditions, an early spring is on the way.

You can feel free to debate whether or not the traditions hold true. There are plenty of critics out there that will argue with you about the statistics of Phil’s accuracy in predicting long term weather patterns. The Punxsutawney Phil website claims the Groundhog has been correct 100% of the time (not bias at all). AcceWeather graded Phil at about 80%, which is still a pretty respectable number… and then you have the National Climatic Data Center (weather nerds) who analyzed the results of previous years and concluded: “It really isn’t a bright idea to take a measure such as a Groundhog’s shadow and use it as a predictive meteorological tool for the entire United States”. But for me, I find this day a helpful reminder every year that it is time to dust off the film that made this day what it is and have a good laugh, and let the weather do what it is going to do.

THANK YOU PHIL

 

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