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What does a rodent know about weather?

This groundhog knows weather...this year.
This groundhog knows weather...this year.
Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

It’s March, so you should have heard by now that Punxsatawney Phil, the winter season forecasting groundhog, saw his shadow on February 2, 2014 meaning that we can look forward to another six weeks of winter. By the looks of things outside of our windows lately all will agree that he was pretty much right, but did you know that according to USA Today, “An analysis of weather data from the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., shows that Phil's forecasts are, on average, inaccurate.” The article goes on to state, “The center found that from 1988 to 2012, the groundhog was right 10 times and wrong 15 times. In other words, 10 times, the national average temperature for the remainder of February matched what would be expected based on what the groundhog predicted.” With only two weeks left in Phil’s outlook, let’s see how he compares to the National Weather Service and the Climate Prediction Center for the next couple weeks.

Next 36 Hours:
Beginning overnight tonight through Monday evening, March 3rd, the Washington, DC Metropolitan Area will be hit with a winter storm. It will begin as heavy rain today, turning into a wintry mix during the midnight hours and then eventually changing to heavy snow by early Monday morning. Snow will continue for the remainder of the storm.

March 4 – 8, 2014:
Daytime highs will range from the upper 20s on Tuesday to the upper 40s by Saturday.

March 9 – 15, 2014:
According to the Climate Prediction Center’s 8 – 14 Day Outlook, below normal temperatures are likely. With some confidence, above normal precipitation is also expected during this time. At present, one cannot be confident about the precipitation type, but cooler than normal temperatures coupled with precipitation are likely to mean more “winter weather” than spring showers.

With only two more weeks to go, perhaps this year was a hit for Phil. The average high temperature for the month of March in Washington, DC is 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Besides Groundhog Day there are many other superstitions for the winter season. Have you ever heard of the Woolly Bear Caterpillar? Or perhaps one of these “Winter Weatherlore and Folklore Forecasts” from STORMFAX.

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