Sunday, February 2, 2014

Groundhog Predicts Early Spring

That is, famous prognosticating groundhog Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today. Now I know what you're thinking - that's supposed to mean we won't get an early spring, right? Well, I wrote a post awhile back noting that Phil is only right 39% of the time, which makes him a terrible divination tool. But then a commenter set me straight:

If he gets it wrong 39% of the time, then he is a pretty good divination tool, they are just interpreting him wrong. If they said "If the groundhog sees his shadow we'll have an early spring" they would be right 61% of the time, which is better than guessing.

So what that means is if you want a better than 60% chance of predicting an early spring, you want to go with the exact opposite of what the groundhog says, every time. And this year, Phil predicted six more weeks of winter.

At 7:25 a.m.Sunday, a raw, cloudy morning, Groundhog Phil saw his shadow in the small town of Punxsutawney, Pa. The appearance of Phil’s shadow means winter will extend well into March according to folklore. Had Phil seen his shadow, it would have meant spring is around the corner.

This winter has been a difficult one for much of the United States, and a pretty normal one here in Minnesota after many years of a warming trend that's produced milder weather. So I say bring on the early spring! I'm certainly ready for it, and a know a lot of other folks are as well.

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