Depending on which groundhog you choose to believe, there may well be six more weeks of winter remaining.
On Sunday, Punxsutawney Phil, probably the most famous groundhog prognosticator, indicated on Sunday he thought six more weeks of winter was on the horizon. However, Atlanta’s resident groundhog denizen disagrees with Phil.
Atlanta’s General Beauregard Lee emerged from his warm lair on Sunday and firmly pronounced winter, at least in the South, to be done.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, General Lee made his annual appearance at about 7:30 a.m. on Sunday at the Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn and didn’t see his shadow. According to groundhog lore, if he doesn’t see his shadow then spring is on its way.
In Raleigh and in Charlotte, North Carolina’s two resident groundhogs both wriggled from the burrows only to see their shadows as the sun was shining brightly on Sunday morning. Sir Walter Wally, who resides at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, has a history of being right about 50 percent of the time, according to the Raleigh News and Observer.
Queen Charlotte resides at the Charlotte Nature Museum and according to the Charlotte Observer made her prediction at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
According to Wikipedia, Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions have only been accurate about 39 percent of the time since 1887. In reality, Phil’s prediction is decided ahead of time by a group called the Inner Circle, whose members don top hats and tuxedos for the annual Groundhog Day ceremony on Gobbler’s Knob, the tiny hill in the town for which he’s named about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
When compared Sir Walter Wally’s 50 percent, it appears that there will most likely be another six weeks of winter, much to the chagrin of those that are ready for bright sunny, warm days and flip flops.
According to Wikipedia, a Canadian study of weather patterns that looked at predictions made on Groundhog Day found those to only be accurate about 37 percent of the time. So, there still may be a chance for an early spring to arrive.