Groundhog Guessing Game: Punxsutawney Phil vs. General Beauregard Lee

Weather Questions with Cody Nickel

Groundhog Day is February 2 so for this week’s weather question, Meteorologist Carmen Rose looked into how good some woodchucks are at predicting whether spring comes early or winter stays late.

She compared Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil to Georgia’s General Beauregard Lee to see which one is better as guessing.

Beau did a pretty good job in 2017. He did not see his shadow which in folklore means an early Spring. 

Turns out, we were much above average for the month of February and warmer in March too, so we gave Beau an ‘A’.

It’s a far different story for Phil.

He did see his shadow…which means six more weeks of winter.

Well, not only was Phil wrong…he was really wrong. 

The average monthly temperature for February in Pennsylvania was the record warmest last year.

So Phil got a big ol’ ‘F’.

She also compared the rodents’ guesses over the past five years with climate data using this same grading system, and the woodchucks are neck in neck in the guessing game overall. 

But if you want a forecast that holds some weight behind it, NOAA climatologists are predicting an above average February and March for Georgia.

So whichever rodent does not see his shadow on Friday with likely have the correct guess.

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