How Accurate are Groundhog Day Predictions? (2018 Update)
Last year before Groundhog Day, I looked at how accurate Groundhog Day predictions are. Turns out that groundhogs are miserable climatologists. Check out that post for all the incredibly advanced science required to figure that out.
With Groundhog day coming up again I thought we could look back at 2017 and see how well they did and whether there are groundhogs to watch for 2018.
Based on my criteria of warmer than average temperatures in Februrary, March and April, 2017 had an “early spring” with USA-wide temperatures in Februrary 5.3 degrees warmer than average!
How did the groundhogs fare?
Everyone’s favorite groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted 6 more weeks of winter, continuing to prove that he has no predictive power.
But there were two groundhogs that I told you to keep an eye on: Stormy Marmot and Poor Richard.
- Stormy Marmot correctly predicted an early spring.
- Poor Richard the stuffed groundhog, from hog heaven, through a host of human mediums, predicted an early spring.
They were both right! I should never have doubted them. In addition, my updated analysis shows that Dover Doug is a better bet as well. So keep an eye on those three come this Friday!
That’s all! Tune back in a year from now for more hot groundhog analysis.
All the code and data for this post can be found on github. Thanks to Abigail Pope-Brooks for editing and feedback.