Groundhogs: Nature's honorary meteorologists


Here's the legend:

If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring.

Phil’s 2017 Prediction

Phil’s forecast prediction of six more weeks of winter did not pan out when he saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter. In February and March of 2017 some locations in the lower-48 had the warmest temperatures on record.

In February, most states across the continental United States were warmer than average, with 16 states having record warmth. While we had a very mild February, there were no states ranked as having record cold. Overall, the National Weather Service says February 2017 was the second warmest on record.

Meanwhile, in March the states in the West, High Plains and portions of the Mid-West and Southeast were much warmer than average. Places across the West, like Colorado and New Mexico had above average temperatures for the month of March in 2017. Now those states hold the record for the warmest March on record. In March, the Nation ranked ninth for the warmest March on record.

We had a warm winter season in 2017, making it that Punxsutawney Phil's forecast of six more weeks of winter to be false. And just for the record, this is not the first time Phil has been wrong.

Phil's 2018 Prediction

We will have to compare the stats of this year’s Groundhog prediction with the rest of the winter season. Click here for details on this year’s prediction.

Copyright 2018 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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