Groundhog's Day

Groundhog Day is a popular holiday in certain areas of the world including the United States. The holiday revolves around the idea of a groundhog predicting the weather to come and the conditions we will see for the rest of winter.Gr

This year has not been a particularly bad winter in terms of the severity of snow/ice or temperature. Many climate observers have described the weather in their area as completely mild, some in the south having barely experienced winter at all. This has even been true through what are supposed to be the coldest and harshest months of the year which are December, January, and February – undoubtedly the height of winter weather everywhere.

But, some have said that maybe the second half of the season would bring with it a brutal hit for the last part of the season. It is a possibility that not so many people were looking forward to it if it were to be true. There is always a chance for winter to make a comeback but the hope for the majority of us has been for that early spring prediction. And that left the decision up to Punxsutawney Phil who delivered his verdict on Groundhog Day, February 2nd of 2020, for the 134th time according to past documentation and records.

Following the holiday, a crowd gathered to wait excitedly for the prediction of the groundhog. Locals and tourists alike came together to watch the spectacle that is the prediction of Punxsutawney Phil. Because even with new groundhogs all across the country popping in to become the next star of Groundhog Day, he is still the most popular and trusted by far – a fact Pennsylvania is thankful for.

When he emerged from his den or “hibernation”, to the anticipation of many, he did not see his shadow. This is an indication that there will be an early spring across the United States. The members of his inner circle, as they are referred to, declared spring would come early “with certainty” to the awaiting spectators. The crowd went wild with cheers for this joyful prediction that had been hoped for in the time leading up to the announcement.

This was a significant prediction in that the groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, does not typically predict an early spring – or at least he hasn’t in his long history. Since the start of recording the traditions of groundhog day in 1887, he has only predicted an early spring a little over twenty times in one-hundred-plus years of it. 2020 is also the second year in a row he has not seen his shadow which is the most consecutive years in a row that it has occurred. Ten years are missing from the current records but this is still astonishing tipping of the scales.

Findings from climate researchers and meteorologists have suggested that Punxsutawney Phil could very well be right this year. December was an incredibly mild month for weather and January followed much the same way. It was one of the mildest January’s on record. And, while we can’t be completely sure, with the weather continuing its mild trend in the early days of February, there has been a good chance that the groundhog got this one right.

But with Groundhog Day coming to an end and Punxsutawney Phil making his way out of the spotlight again, only time will tell how his prediction will play out in the coming weeks. Most of us have hopes for his early spring prediction to be true. And having said that, he does have a pretty impressive track record of being spot on. His accuracy has been said to fall at eighty percent and many people have faith that he will get it right. And if that’s not the case then there’s always next year.