North Coast Severe Watches & Warnings NOAA Weather Radio

Public Information Statement
Statement as of 7:00 am PST on January 29, 2015

...February 2nd is groundhog day...

Groundhog day is early next week on February 2nd. The first documented reference to groundhog day was found in a diary by storekeeper James morries of Morgantown Pennsylvania dated February 4 1841. He states - last Tuesday the 2nd was candlemas day...the day on which according to the Germans the groundhog peeps out of his Winter Quarters and if he sees his shadow...he pops back for another six weeks nap...but if the day be cloudy he remains out as the weather is to be moderate.

This diary entry offers some meteorology. Winter surface high pressure in that part of the country often results in sunny skies and cold temperatures. So if the groundhog finds sunshine on February 2nd...winter is still likely in progress. If it is cloudy...then a more moderate weather pattern is already underway.

Since 1887...groundhog day has been celebrated on Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania each year on February 2nd. So this years version will be the 129th celebration that attracts thousands of visitors to witness Punxsutawney Phil come out of his burrow and make his folklore weather prediction.

Does Punxsutawney phils weather forecast apply to the Pacific northwest? In reality no...since weather in the northeast part of the country is so much different than the region. Yet the event offers another reason to talk about the weather.


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