The groundhog vs. the temperature record, 2020: Keeping score
In Gobbler's Knoboffsite link, Pennsylvania, at the crack of dawn this morning, the nation's most famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadowoffsite link, thus raising hopes for spring's early arrival, accordingly to longstanding folklore.
How accurate was Phil's 2019 forecast?
In 2019, Phil forecast a "short winter" when he did not see his shadow and predicted an early spring. In fact, the contiguous United States saw below-average temperatures in both February and March of last year.
The average contiguous U.S. temperature during February 2019 was 32.0 degrees F, 1.8 degrees below the 20th-century average. This ranked among the coldest third of the 125-year period of record, and it was the coolest February since 2010, according to scientists at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information.
What's the long-term scorecard say?
As Phil surely knows, accurate seasonal forecasting is hard work. See how the groundhog has scored against the U.S. temperature record — and download this fun infographic.