February 2 is Groundhog Day. Halfway between winter and spring, that's when the most famous marmots in North America go in search of their shade to announce an early spring… or not!
This tradition started in Canada in 1956 and since then we can count on Willie, Fred and Sam to make long-range weather forecasts. Of course, there is nothing too scientific in the fact that a groundhog that sees its shadow announces another six weeks of winter. We are more in folklore, in a well-established tradition giving hope (or not) to the early (or late) departure of the cold.
“Over the 30 to 40 year study for 13 Canadian cities, Environment Canada concludes that the groundhog forecasts were correct in 37 % cases. "Source: Radio-Canada, February 2, 2019
In the United States, the most popular groundhog of all is called Phil. She has already played in a movie and attracts tourists from all over who don't want to miss this special day in the small town of Punxsutawney, PA. Indeed, since 1887, this day is the occasion for great festivities in this region where the rodent is in the spotlight.
"This immortal Phil - it seems that the groundhog was born in the 19th century and that it would derive its longevity from a magic elixir - is pampered and fed all year round by a group of gentlemen in black clothes and top hats which are responsible for perpetuating this tradition. According to them, all the other groundhogs are impostors. "Source: Radio-Canada, February 2, 2019
We are told a snowstorm on February 2, 2021, so during Groundhog Day. Does this mean that winter will end soon or that it will drag on forever? Your challenge here is to find information about the snowstorms that hit February 2nd. Are groundhog storms synonymous with early or late spring?
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