February 02, 2005

Can a large rodent predict the weather?

Groundhog Day is here again. As the legends goes, if the groundhog sees his shadow, we will get six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, spring is on the way.

So, how accurate is this legend? Let's go to the numbers. According to the StormFax Weather Almanac, Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow 94 out of 108 times and been correct 39% of the time. Interesting, because it suggests the shadow/no shadow prediction is backwards.

While some folklore and legends are based on real observations of cause and effect, that's not the case for Groundhog Day. That shouldn’t stop the folks in Punxsutawney from throwing a big party, torturing a groundhog and making a ton of money on tourism and collectibles.

Posted @ 7:25 AM | Link


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