Published On: Fri, Feb 2nd, 2018

Shadow or Not—Farmers’ Almanac Predicts Old Man Winter Will Hang On

Shadow or Not—Farmers’ Almanac Predicts Old Man Winter Will Hang On.Lewiston, ME: On Friday, February 2, 2018, all eyes will be on an unsuspecting groundhog that will be plucked from a warm and comfortable burrow to predict whether spring will come early or late this year. Yet for everyone who bought a copy of the 2018 Farmers’ Almanac, or checked its long-range forecast online, they already know what’s in store weather-wise — not only for the rest of winter, but also the spring and summer too.

The Groundhog Day Shadow vs. No Shadow Folklore

Groundhog Day is a fun holiday that has its roots in the Pennsylvania “Dutch” (German) tradition. According to folklore, if the groundhog sees his shadow (meaning the sun is shining), winter will not end early, and we’ll have another 6 weeks left of it. If he doesn’t see his shadow (cloudy), we’ll have an early spring.

What Does The Farmers’ Almanac Say?

Whether or not you follow the groundhog, or simply enjoy the folklore, there’s no need to wait for Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast: the Farmers’ Almanac predicted, in its long-range outlook released in August of 2017,that winter isn’t going anywhere, any time soon. While the entire country has seen some very cold and tough weather conditions during the opening days of January, and many may wish winter would end early, the Almanac’s long-range predictions say winter is here for the long haul.

The Farmers’ Almanac’s has “red flagged” some key dates: February 4-7, and 16-19, as well as the opening days of spring—March 20-23—for possible heavy winter precipitation along the Eastern Seaboard. That means snow for the northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, and rain for the Southeast.

Winter weather will also keep a firm grip on the Great Lakes region through February and the start of the spring season.

And in case those living in the Southeast didn’t have enough wintry precipitation yet this season, they may see even more before winter is finally done (be sure to check what the Farmers’ Almanac is predicting for February 4-7th!).

“We don’t see anyone in the North Central region (Zone 4) putting away those gloves and boots just yet,” shares editor Pete Geiger, Philom., “especially during February, which looks cold and stormy.” Fortunately for Super Bowl fans, the Almanac is calling for cold and dry travel conditions in Minneapolis where the game is being played at a fixed-roof stadium.

Believe it or not, the Almanac is predicting more of the white stuff (snow/flurries) for the South Central region (Zone 5) as well as very cold conditions for the Gulf Coast around the 7th of February.
The Farmers’ Almanac, which breaks the country into seven zones, also predicts more wintry conditions along the West Coast before the season is over.

(Check out your region’s forecasts for February and March.)

No matter what the weather, spring will officially arrive with the Equinox on March 20th at 12:15 p.m. EDT; however the warmer, spring-like weather may not arrive until a little later.
How Accurate Are The Groundhog’s Predictions?

Members of the most famous weather predicting groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil’s “Inner Circle,” claim his predictions are 100% accurate. Unfortunately, that statement isn’t 100% accurate. According to sources that track the marmot, that number is more like 39%. Since Punxsutawney Phil first began prognosticating the weather back in 1887, he has predicted an early spring only 17 times.

Unlike the groundhog, the Farmers’ Almanac uses a mathematical and astronomical formula to make its long-range weather predictions. This formula takes sunspot activity, tidal action of the Moon, positions of the planets, and many other factors into consideration. Fans of the Almanac say their weather forecasts are accurate 80-85% of the time.

Even though Phil is wrong on occasion, we still respect the groundhog and a ‘holiday’ that reminds us to put down our high-tech gadgets and consult nature,” states managing editor Sandi Duncan, Philom. “We also think this year he’ll see the light — and his shadow — and agree with us that winter isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.”

You can learn more about the history of Groundhog Day , enjoy fun Groundhog Day Trivia, and get the full year’s weather forecast at FarmersAlmanac.com.

Source: Farmers’ Almanac

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