Groundhog Day is this coming Monday, and on that day Punxsutawney Phil, the most famous groundhog in the US, will peek out of his hole in Gobbler’s Knob at exactly 7:25 a.m. and predict whether we can expect an early spring or six more weeks of winter.
Historically, Phil seems to prefer early winters and has predicted 101 of them since this tradition started in 1887. There are a few years that we don’t have any record of Phil’s predictions, but he has only predicted an early spring 17 times.
While Punxsutawney Phil, the Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary is obviously pretty savvy when it comes to the weather (he’s probably right just about as often as the weatherman), I thought that we might take a peek at the Farmer’s Almanac to see what it says.
Unfortunately, according to the 2015 forecast the coldest part of the year started this last week or so, and will go into the beginning of February. Frigid arctic air is expected to drop temperatures across the Northern Plains to “perhaps 40 below zero.” The almanac then goes on to predict that wintry conditions will continue through the middle of March for much of the US, and some places might even see snow into April.
As a matter of coincidence, other folklore predictions–like wooly worms having smaller brown stripes during cold winters, larger pine cones and bird migrations–seem to be saying that winter isn’t gone yet, or at least not where I live.
So, unfortunately, I’m fully expecting little Phil to see his shadow this year, and I will certainly be stocking up for the weather! Update: Phil did indeed see his shadow! Winter, here we come!! Of course, Phil could be wrong. What do you think? Is just about over, or is the worst yet to come? Share your winter predictions or folklore methods to tell the weather below!