Groundhog Predicts Long Winter, Midwest Storm Suggests He’s Right

Feb 3, 2022

A Pennsylvania groundhog named Phil is famous for his weather predictions. On Wednesday, he indicated that the US will suffer through six more weeks of winter. Perhaps proving him right, a major snowstorm has slammed the Midwest.

Thousands of people gathered to watch Punxsutawney Phil climb out of his burrow and see his shadow. That would mean a longer winter. Those living in the path of the storm, though, might not need Phil's input.

The storm is sending cold temperatures across the region. It's dumping snow, freezing rain, and sleet on a half-dozen states in its path. Forecasters projected more than a foot of snow in Michigan, Missouri, and Indiana.

More than 1,800 flights were canceled as of midday Wednesday. That's according to flight tracker FlightAware. Amtrak stopped train service along nine routes through the Midwest.

The storm appeared headed Phil’s way. Freezing rain, sleet, and possible snow are on target for parts of Pennsylvania through Thursday. That will be followed by temperatures in the single digits Friday.

The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club insists Phil’s yearly winter forecasts are always right. However, the National Association Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says otherwise. The agency looked at the rodent’s predictions over the past 10 years. It found he was correct just four of ten times.

NOAA says Phil last got it right in 2020. He predicted an early spring that year. 

Photo from Reuters.

What has to happen for Phil’s 2022 prediction to be right? (Common Core RI.5.1; RI.6.1)
a. this week’s winter storm must hit Pennsylvania
b. spring must come early in the US
c. six more weeks of winter must occur in the US
d. a major snowstorm must hit the Midwest this week
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