It’s Groundhog Day, but don’t put too much stock in what Punxsutawney Phil says about when springtime will arrive. He hasn’t actually had the best record, but it’s not horrible. He’s been right 39% of the time. You’d be better off flipping a coin.
Happy Groundhog Day! To quote a very famous movie of the same name: “This is pitiful. A thousand people freezing their butts off waiting to worship a rat. What a hype! Groundhog Day used to mean something in this town. They used to pull the hog out, and they used to eat it. You’re hypocrites, all of you!” Harsh – but true.
Punxsutawney Phil is probably my favorite huggable little weather predicting rodent. My favorite weather predicting human is still Al Roker.
Punxsutawney Phil’s has been forecasting the weather since 1886, even tough he’s only been right 39% of the time, the Groundhog Club claims he’s never wrong. They say it’s their fault for misinterpreting his language, “Groundhogese.” Yes, you read it right – apparently Phil has his own language.
He usually predicts six more weeks of winter. Coming into today, he’d seen his shadow 106 times, plus one “partial shadow” in 1942. He’s only said “no shadow” 19 times that we know of. There are 10 years where there’s no record. The partial shadow was a statement about World War Two. He supposedly said, “War clouds have blacked out parts of the shadow.” (1943 was the only year he didn’t make an appearance at all)
By the way -the Bill Murray Movie Groundhog day was released thirty years ago! Some guy just finished watching it every day for a full year. He wrote an article about it for TheConversation.com, if you’d like to read about it. Hee went through four stages while watching it.
Oh, by the way – Phil. The Goundhog. saw his shadow (probably because there was sun, so anyone would probably see a shadow, right?) Six more weeks of winter!
Here are some fun – or perhaps odd -facts about one of the country’s favorite furry meteorologist, and his day –