OpinionScience & Technology

Groundhog Day is Not That Predictable Anymore

Have you ever wondered if spring will come later or earlier? People in America celebrate Groundhog Day to see the possible arrival of spring. We can tell if spring will come earlier or later by seeing if the groundhog can see his shadow or not. 

On Groundhog Day,if the groundhog can see its shadow that means that there will be six more weeks of winter. If the groundhog doesn’t see its shadow then spring will come early. Groundhog Day is celebrated on February 2 every year which is the middle of winter where the amount of daylight and nighttime hours are almost equal. Groundhog Day became globally famous because of the movie, “Groundhog Day” made in 1993, directed by Harold Ramis. (imbd.com

The Groundhog Day predictions are starting to become a guess. According to National Geographic, “Punxsutawney Phil and Ontario’s Wiarton Willie were the only groundhogs with more than 50 years of predictions on record. Winnipeg Willow, which is a new groundhog, made only four predictions and was wrong on three of them.”

According to K. Mulvaney from National Geographic another example of showing that some groundhogs aren’t reliable at predicting is that “Winnipeg Willow predicted a late spring in a year when it arrived 38 days earlier than average.” Since groundhogs die there are different groundhogs every few years and because of that “Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions were correct 52 times out of 100. This shows that Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions are basically a 50/50 chance or guess.” (K. Mulvaney 2022 nationalgeographic.com).

Another reason why Groundhog Day predictions aren’t accurate anymore is because groundhogs can’t stay alive forever. The average lifespan of a groundhog is four to five years and because groundhogs only live up to four to five years it means that groundhogs won’t be able to make consistent predictions because it would be a different groundhog every 5 years which makes the predictions inconsistent because the groundhog is different. 

Cole Wong, a freshman student from Leonia High School, says that “The Groundhog Day event is kind of pointless because we are relying on whether spring will come early or late on a groundhog.” He points out that it’s ridiculous that people trust an animal but he also says that “it’s also kind of a way that gives people hope which is kind of exciting for others.”

According to K. Mulvaney from National Geographic “in Ontario, Canada researchers from Lakehead University wanted to look at groundhogs and did some tests to see if the groundhogs predictions were correct.” When they did the tests there were a total of 45 groundhogs. Through the process of experimenting 12 groundhogs died. Which led to having 33 groundhogs left four Canadian provinces and 16 U.S. states. After seeing all of the groundhogs predictions “the team concluded that the groundhogs were correct exactly 50 percent of the time” (K. Mulvaney 2022 nationalgeographic.com) which is basically flipping a coin. For the future of Groundhog day people should celebrate the event from a different perspective. For example we can celebrate in a way where people can predict the groundhog instead of waiting for the groundhogs prediction. These are the reasons why Groundhog Day is not predictable anymore.