Groundhog Predictions

The majestic groundhog, Wiarton Willie

The majestic groundhog, Wiarton Willie

At 7 am EST on February 2nd the famous groundhog Wiarton Wille will emerge from his burrow in front of thousands of people.

The spectacle has drawn quite a lot of criticism from meteorologists, who fear that groundhogs will eventually one day take over primary weather forecasting operations at Environment Canada and the National Weather Service.

Are they any good at predicting if we'll see a longer spring?

Not better than chance, apparently.

If Wiarton Wille catches even a glimpse of his shadow, he'll retreat into his burrow and six more weeks of dreaded winter will be the consequence...

Oh, the misery.

Wiarton, Ontario, home of the famous Canadian groundhog Wiarton Willie 

Wiarton, Ontario, home of the famous Canadian groundhog Wiarton Willie 

First , We'll check out the early morning conditions at 5:00 am EST in Wiarton, Ontario, a couple hours before the precise time Wiarton wakes up from his long winter's nap.

Model of Choice. High Resolution Rapid Refresh Model by NOAA.

Model of Choice. High Resolution Rapid Refresh Model by NOAA.

Cloud cover is breaking from the northwest. The darker shades represent clearer skies (somewhat counter-intuitive).

But, we must take the sun angle into consideration...The sun will be low on the horizon in the morning and the HRRR model still shows significant cloudiness to the southeast.

At 7AM, the angle of the sun can be calculated with respect to the town of Wairton, Ontario. 

At 7AM, the angle of the sun can be calculated with respect to the town of Wairton, Ontario. 

My Prediction: Wiarton Willie will NOT see his shadow, and they'll be an early spring!

Disclaimer: But the skies are in the process of clearing, so there's always a chance a sunbeam will break through the clouds at precisely 7am, granting us 6 more weeks with a horrendous winter...

Speaking of horrendous winter, I'll have a blog update tonight highlighting what is likely to be Vancouver's coldest week in February since the infamous Arctic outbreak in February 1989.

Also, I have fantastic news for ski hills as well, and I anticipate most ski hills over the next two weeks will return back to a normal level of service as we finally get a more favourable jet stream position.

Yahoo!

#50shadesofVan