Groundhog Day 2013 is this Saturday.
The weather in Northern Virginia this past week makes Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction regarding six more weeks of winter anyone’s guess.
Last Friday, Arlington Public Schools operated on a normal schedule, though several schools in nearby jurisdictions were closed or delayed due to sleet. In a somewhat unexpected move, Arlington schools closed Monday following an icy morning.
Tuesday and Wednesday, temperatures reached almost 70 degrees before plunging back into the 40s on Thursday, and Arlington got a dusting of snow early Friday.
What's A Groundhog To Do?
The forecast for Groundhog Day in Arlington calls for mostly cloudy skies and a high of 40 degrees.
The forecast that matters on Groundhog Day — the one at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Penn. — calls for snow showers and a high of 22 degrees. That means there’s a good chance of cloudy skies, and that means Punxsutawney Phil will not see his shadow. Not seeing his shadow means we may get an early spring after all!
On Groundhog Day 2012, Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter. But across the north and eastern portions of the United States, including here in Northern Virginia, the average temperature in February and March 2012 was higher than normal. Maybe Punxsutawney Phil will do better this year.
Potomac Phil and Other Groundhog Day Events
Closer to home, Potomac Phil will make his second annual appearance at 7:30 a.m. Saturday in Dupont Circle. The Washington celebration will include accordion music, polka dancing and more.
In 2012, Potomac Phil predicted six more weeks of winter, but February 2012 averaged about five degrees above historic Washington temperatures. March was about 10 degrees above average, calling into question whether Potomac Phil has the same weather-predicting chops as his cousin in Pennsylvania.
Down in Annandale, children can meet Willard and Mother Nature, two costumed characters, and learn about how animals predict the weather from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m. Saturday.
Also, check out this roundup of family-friendly Groundhog Day 2013 events across Northern Virginia.
What's your prediction? Will we see six more weeks of winter, or will spring come early this year? Tell us in the comments!