Groundhog Day: How Has Phil’s Predictions Verified For Southern West Virginia?

Oak Hill, WV (WOAY-TV): We all need a reason to celebrate once in a while, right? Tomorrow is another opportunity. It’s Candlemas Day in Europe! What does this have to do with the weather? As time evolved, a popular Candlemas Day folk song transitioned into a weather prognostication:

If Candlemas be fair and bright, Come Winter, have another flight

If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Go Winter and come not again.

When this belief was introduced in Germany, they brought a hedgehog into the mix to make the official weather prediction for this celebration. But, when German settlers arrived in the U.S. they could not find a hedgehog so chose the next closest animal to make the prognostication, a groundhog who we call Phil!

Groundhog Day started in 1887 with the first trek to Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and continues to this day…. AND Tomorrow marks the 136th celebration of  yes….. the most important holiday for weather people… Groundhog day.

Going back to that Candlemas Day folk song, if it’s sunny and bright at sunrise, Phil will see his shadow and we’ll have six more weeks of winter. If it’s cloudy, spring is just around the corner.

For those keeping track, Phil has seen his shadow 106 times, no shadow 20 and no record of shadow 10 times. This means he usually forecasts six more weeks of winter!

Last year he predicted six more weeks of winter and we got 10.1 inches of snow after February 2. Historically, winter never ends around here until March or April anyways, right? We average 25.6 inches of snow after February 2nd.

Now, if you want our take at the pattern going forward into February, click here! As always, stay with StormWatch4 for your latest detailed 7-day forecast!

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