The legend goes that if groundhog Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow we will have six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, spring will arrive early.
Right now the outlook for Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, is for snow. A lot of it. The forecast for Tuesday morning while Phil is making his prediction calls for snow showers and temperatures in the mid 20s. Winds will be whipping up to 25 mph making wind chills feel in the low to mid teens.
Even if it isn’t snowing very hard during Phil’s televised forecast, there will be at least 4-6 inches of fresh powder on the ground from a weekend winter storm that will make it’s way through the Northeast from Sunday through Tuesday.
Predictions in the past
Scientifically speaking, winter will officially come to an end on the equinox on March 20, regardless of what Phil predicts. But Mother Nature doesn’t always follow the timetable.
In fact, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota actually have their snowiest time of year after Groundhog Day.
For the last two years in a row Phil has not seen his shadow, predicting an early spring.
Phil has lots of friends
Phil is not alone in his prognosticating skills. In fact there are many others like him. States like Ohio, North Carolina, New York, Georgia, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Illinois, Maryland, West Virginia, and Michigan all have their own groundhog to use for predictions.
Some of the more colorful names include Pierre C. Shadeaux of Louisiana, General Beauregard Lee of Georgia, and Staten Island Chuck from New York just to name a few.
This means that if you don’t like Phil’s forecast, chances are one of the other groundhogs will predict something you do like.