Is there a method to Punxsutawney Phil's madness in predicting how long winter will last on Groundhog Day?
Since the tradition of Groundhog Day began in Punxsutawney in 1886, Phil has seen his shadow, on record, 100 times. There were 16 times that he did not see his shadow, and nine years during the late 1800s that there is no record of Phil's forecast.
Though Phil's method may seem flawed -- anticipating that the sight of his shadow determines a longer winter, while no shadow calls for an early spring -- he has a tendency to get it right. Because the year's coldest quarter, also known as meteorological winter, runs from Dec. 5 to March 5, Phil's accuracy in predicting a longer winter is about 80 percent.
Phil's logic comes from the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox observances of Candlemas Day, tracing back almost 1,000 years.
"An early association between the weather forecast and the religious observance is found in a Scottish couplet: 'If Candlemas is fair and clear / There'll be two winters in the year.'" AccuWeather broadcaster Elliot Abrams said.
"If the weather is 'fair,' the groundhog sees its shadow, and this is supposed to mean six more weeks of winter," Abrams said. "This is somewhat like saying that despite the sunshine on Groundhog Day, more winter is due." In any case, on this Groundhog Day, the Northeast and Northwest can plan on seeing six more weeks of winter.
"I think we could still see some late-season winter storms [in the Northeast]," AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok said.
Additionally, the spring will likely bring worsening drought conditions for the hardest hit areas and could once again place in the top ten warmest on record for the U.S. For the full length AccuWeather.com Spring Forecast, click here.
Phil will emerge to make his prognostication around 7:20 a.m. EST on Feb. 2, 2013.
Severe storms are shifting eastward Wednesday afternoon delivering strong wind, heavy rain and hail.
The Memorial Day weekend will begin cool, windy and rainy in New England and part of the mid-Atlantic.
GOES-East failed again late Tuesday. It is one of the main satellites meteorologists use for the eastern part of the United States and the tropical Atlantic.
On the two-year anniversary of the EF-5 tornado that leveled Joplin, Mo., the town has deployed assistance to Moore, Okla.
The tornado tore through a path 17 miles long on Monday and had wind speeds as high as 200 mph.
Wednesday will be drier and less humid for recovery and clean up efforts.
Hallam, NE (2004)
The "Hallam" tornado touched on the ground for 2.5 miles and reached F4 status at it's peak intensity. 95% if the town of Hallan's buildings were damages or destroyed.
Atlantic City, NJ (1991)
Record high of 89 degrees after a record low of 38 degrees. Record lows were also set May 19,20, & 21st.
New Brunswick, NJ (1804)
Tornado destroyed 2 barns, 1 hotel and 3 houses. "The damage done in this village cannot be less than $1,500 or $2,000." New York Evening Post, June 5, 1904.