Groundhog Day: The legend says that if the groundhog (Punxsutawney Phil, to be precise) sees his shadow on February 2, he’s frightened back into his hole—meaning we’ll suffer six more weeks of winter. But what happens if the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow? Does he stay topside to frolic under cloudy skies? Does it mean spring will arrive on time? Or early?
This is just one of the questions that perplexed me as a child. So I did my own analysis.
If P. Phil sees his shadow, as he did this year… well, let’s see…
6 (weeks) x 7 (days per week) = 42 more days of winter
42 (days of winter) – 26 (remaining days in February) = 16 winter days in March
Therefore, spring will arrive on March 17
If P. Phil hadn’t seen his shadow? A look at my handy-dandy calendar tells me the first day of spring for 2017 is March 20.
“Six more weeks of winter” means spring will arrive on March 17; otherwise, it will arrive on March 20.
And that, my friends, is why we don’t employ rodents to forecast the weather.