Groundhog Day - Is the Rodent Right?

By: Andrew Switzer
By: Andrew Switzer

By - Drew Switzer

Tomorrow is February 2nd, better known to most as Groundhog Day.  The tradition of Groundhog Day is to figure out if Spring will come early or not.  The legend goes that the Groundhog emerges from his winter slumber and peeks out of his hole.  On a sunny day he will see his shadow, get scared, and run back into the hole from another 6 weeks - meaning 6 more weeks of winter.  On a cloudy day he will see no shadow and emerge for good - meaning spring will come early.  People differ on how often the groundhog is correct as the percentages range from 28% accuracy to 90% accurate.  I'm not exactly sure how you determine whether or not Spring actually came early.  There is no set in stone weather criteria for what Spring actually is.  No matter what the Groundhog predicts there is always  about 6 weeks from Groundhog day to the official start to Spring on the astronomical calendar.  This year spring is set to begin about 12:30PM on March 20th - that is when the Spring Equinox occurs, meaning there is equal amounts of daylight in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.  No matter what the Groundhog says, there will be "spring like" weather in the next 6 weeks and there will be "winter like' weather.  We are entering a transition period between the seasons.  Winter is starting to drag on.  It is not as exciting to have a snow storm now as it is in December.  Cases of Spring fever are running crazy.  I can feel myself coming down with a case of Spring fever and can't wait for that first 60 or 70 degree day.

To me, Groundhog Day is a fun tradition and a cute story.  It is a time when we can start to look forward to the warm days of Spring and Summer.  However, there is absolutely 0% correlation between the groundhog seeing/not seeing his shadow and "spring like" weather coming later/sooner than normal.

What are your thoughts?  What is Groundhog Day to you?

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