It's that time of year again: Groundhog Day! After the polar vortex (part one and part two) that has frozen half the nation over the past few weeks, everyone is dying to know: did the groundhog see his shadow on Feb. 2?
Groundhog Day 2014: Did the Groundhog See His Shadow?
Though he isn't much more reliable than your average weatherman (perhaps even less so, to be honest), there is something sort of fun about a furry little forecaster predicting whether we'll have an early spring or not. This year, Punxsutawney Phil did not have good news for those who follow his weather reports.
Phil saw his shadow, all right, and according to legend that means at least six more weeks of winter. It should be noted Phil misses the mark on a regular basis. In fact, he almost always sees his shadow. According to this Weather.com article, Phil has only not seen his shadow 17 times in over a century!
The report goes on to explain the origins of the somewhat odd tradition of predicting weather patterns using animals who see or don't see their own shadow. People have been turning to groundhogs for the answer long before Groundhog Day 2014, and here's why:
"The tradition is rooted in a German superstition that says if a hibernating animal casts a shadow on Feb. 2, the Christian holiday of Candlemas, winter will last six more weeks," the article stated.
When exactly did the groundhog see his shadow and cast this dire prediction? At about 7:30 a.m. EST, the world-famous Punxsutawney Phil poked his head out to find clear, sunny skies, which of course, help produce shadows. Had it been a cloudy day, the prediction would have gone the other way around.
Here's hoping Phil was mistaken and despite this year's disappointing Groundhog Day 2014 results, warmer weather will soon be upon us. (Well, not us exactly - here in Arizona, our weather has been lovely all winter. We could do with a bit of rain, but other than that, we're all set. Good luck, east coast!)