WOAY-TV (Oak Hill, WV): Groundhog Phil will determine whether we have six more weeks of winter or ease into spring, but are his predictions valid?
Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill explains:
Groundhog Day has been around for centuries. If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow when he is taken from his burrow at 7:28 a.m. on February 2, legend tells us we will have six more weeks of winter. If the sky is cloudy and he doesn’t see his shadow, spring emerges rather quickly.
Nearby weather statistics from nearby Dubois-Jefferson County Airport indicate his predictions don’t jive with climatology of cloud cover. Historically, 63.5% of the time between 7-8 a.m. are cloudy in February and Phil should NOT see his shadow.
Groundhog Phil’s statistics over the years don’t compliment the overcast sky statistics (folks, this is all for fun and games!):
78.6% of the time: has seen his shadow (six more weeks of winter)
13.9% of the time: no shadow seen (early spring)
No record of the outcome of his shadow for 10 years
Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill’s Groundhog Phil prediction: He will NOT see his shadow and spring is around the corner! Chad’s real forecast: We will have a cold and snowy mid-February period. 🙂