The groundhog vs. the temperature record, 2019: Keeping score

Our furry friends are cute, but how good are they at weather forecasting?
February 2, 2019
This curious groundhog isn't Punxsutawney Phil, but he (or she) sure is cute.

In Gobbler's Knob, Pennsylvania, at the crack of dawn today, the nation's most famous groundhog Punxsutawney Philoffsite link did not see his shadow, thus raising hopes for spring's early arrival.

How accurate was Phil's 2018 forecast?

Phil predicted a "long winter" when he saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of cold conditions last year. But in fact, the contiguous United States saw above-average temperatures in both February and March of last year. The average contiguous U.S. temperature during February 2018 was 35.51 degrees F, 1.69 degrees above the 20th-century average. This ranked among the warmest third of the 124-year period of record. Find out about how different regions of the country fared.

Assessing the scorecard

As Phil surely knows, accurate forecasting is hard work. See how the groundhog has scored against the U.S. temperature record — and download this fun infographic — courtesy of NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information