Ground Hog Day

by Dave Hennen
CNN Senior Meteorologist

A meteorologist friend of mine blogged yesterday that Punxsutawney Phil is a punk. Of course as a meteorologist I couldn’t agree more! According to the National Climatic Data Center who crunched the numbers Phil has an accuracy rate of just 39%.

You could flip a coin and do better! What I didn’t realize was how many “punks” and wannabes there are out there. There are dozens of other assorted wildlife also making forecasts.

A few of my favorites:

Chuck Wood,  Stickney  IL – How much forecasting can Chuck Wood do, if a Chuck Wood could do forecasting?

General Beauregard Lee, Atlanta GA – The only ranked groundhog I could find.

Pierre C. Shadeaux, New Iberia LA –  Who Dat Groundhog?

Mr. Prozac, Oxford MS – A Llama, who knew they had forecasting skills.

Furby the Wonder Chicken, Vancouver BC – Even Canada gets into the act.

OK, so I know that as a meteorologist our forecasting accuracy three months out leaves a lot to be desired, but I bet Phil the Punx, can’t intelligently tell you about La Nina and how it affects climate or the Arctic Oscillation and what it means for the rest of winter. At least we have a shot at being right.

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