Breaking News: The WFAA Weather Team has taken the day off! Punxsutawney Phil has stepped up to take over all weather responsibilities.
Early Friday morning, Phil crawled out of his home in Pennsylvania to see none other than his shadow! Of course that means we're subjected to six more weeks of winter.
Though Phil has become a well-known meteorologist in the rodent community, humans should not fear. Over the last 30 years, Phil has only been right 20% of the time – must be all that wild grass he’s eating.
For example, Phil saw his shadow last year. That should have meant more snow days and sweater weather, but instead the planet saw its 2nd warmest winter on record! The Dallas-Fort Worth area even saw its warmest winter and February EVER on record.
Let’s take that a step further. DFW recorded the most 80 degree days and the least number of freezes EVER during Winter 2016-2017. So needless to say, Phil has some work to do in the accuracy department.
You’d have better odds just flipping a coin!
However, Groundhog Day became a tradition over 130 years ago -- dating back to 1880s. The roots can be traced back to an Ancient Christian Tradition called Candlemas Day. This tradition fell at the midpoint of the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Members of the clergy would bless and hand out candles to the community in order to help people get through the end of winter.
They started watching the weather conditions on that day. Tradition went that if it was sunny and clear, winter would continue. If it was cloudy, spring would be coming soon. Eventually, the Germans added a hedgehog to take meteorology wisdom from. The groundhog was introduced when they settled in Pennsylvania.
And here we are – over a century later – waiting anxiously to see what this crazy little rodent will say about our future.
In the end, you must choose: Will you trust a groundhog or your WFAA Weather Team? We hope you pick us. We base our forecast on science – not shadows!