The results are in! Today, February 2, 2013, is Groundhog Day, the holiday in which we let a little furry rodent predict the weather by looking at his shadow – and actually believe him. Groundhog Day results are in, and Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog legend, predicted an early spring. Yes, you read that correctly, folks – the Groundhog Day results have determined that winter is ending!
But let’s go back to the beginning. Punxsutawney Phil is a 20-pound, 22-inch reddish brown groundhog that resides in west-central Pennsylvania. Every year on February 2, Americans go crazy for this four-legged celebrity, watching him climb sleepily out of hibernation and determine our seasonal fate for the next six weeks.
As legend has it, if Phil sees his shadow, we are doomed to six more weeks of bitter cold winter temperatures. But if Phil’s shadow is no where to be found – such as today – we can count on an early spring.
So is this just a bogus tradition, or is Phil a reliable weatherman? Unfortunately, according to the National Climatic Data Center, groundhogs don’t have any great foresight into the future – Phil actually wrong more often than he is right.
Of course, what do you except from a 125 year-old groundhog? Well, he’s not really 125 years old, but that’s what his posse wants us to believe: “Punxsutawney Phil gets his longevity from drinking the ‘elixir of life,’ a secret recipe. Phil takes one sip every summer at the Groundhog Picnic and it magically gives him seven more years of life.”
So whether or not you choose to take your meteorological advice from a rodent is up to you. I’m going to go ahead and trust Punxsutawney Phil on this one. After all, I’d rather be soaking in spring temperatures next week than freezing my face off in six more weeks of winter.