Punxsutawney Phil sees 6 more weeks of winter. Will it happen?
In Gobbler's Knob, Pennsylvania, at the crack of dawn this morning, the nation's most famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow — meaning six more weeks of winter, according to longstanding folklore offsite link.
How accurate was Phil's 2020 'forecast'?
Last year, Phil "predicted" a shorter winter and early spring when official observers declared he did not see his shadow.
But in fact, the contiguous United States saw above-average temperatures for both February and March 2020, according to scientists at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information:
- The average contiguous U.S. temperature during February was 36.2°F, 2.3°F above the 20th-century average. This ranked among the warmest one-third of the 126-year period of record.
- For March, the average contiguous U.S. temperature was 46.1°F, 4.6°F above the 20th-century average. It was the 10th-warmest March in the 126-year period of record.
What does the long-term scorecard show?
As Phil surely knows, accurate seasonal forecasting is hard work.
- See how the groundhog has scored against the U.S. temperature record — and download the fun infographic shown above.
- Visit Punxsutawney Phil's official website offsite link for more about this yearly ritual.
Happy Groundhog Day to all!