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 17 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.com Chief Forecaster 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.
Phil will emerge to make his prognostication around 7:25 a.m. EST on Feb. 2, 2014.
Whether Phil calls for an early spring or not, the AccuWeather.com Long-Range Forecasting Team predicted that winter will continue for about half of the U.S.
The first widespread ice storm of the season will slowly diminish over parts of the southern and central Plains, but areas of slippery travel will continue into Sunday morning.
After another brief shot of chilly air over the weekend, the month of December will start out milder across the Northeast.
The reprieve from heavy rain across southern India will not last with the threat for flooding downpours set to return for the final days of November.
December will begin with a roar across the Northwest as rounds of rain, mountain snow and even ice are in store into late week.
The strongest El Nino in 50 years will unfold this winter and significantly alter the chances for a white Christmas across the country.
As millions head home from their Thanksgiving ventures the weather may cause trouble on the roads and at the airports from the southern Appalachians to the central Rockies on Sunday.
November 1972 was one of the wettest on record for the Northeastern U.S. As of the 27th, NYC had its wettest November ever with 11.36 inches. This broke the old record of 9.97 inches. Binghamton, NY, had a monthly total of 7.11 inches -- the wettest November in the 75-year history of record keeping at Broome County Airport. Binghamton also had 19.4 inches of snow -- exactly a foot above normal.
Minneapolis, MN (1983)
With 13 inches from the latest storm - set new monthly record snow for snow with 29 inches. This record was broken during November 1991.
Tropical Storm Karen brought wind and flooding rains to western Cuba.