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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ground Hog vs Environment Canada- Better Weatherman?

Share YOUR Weather Prediction!

Editorial-SuzanneSholer
Whose winter prediction will be the most accurate- Wiarton Willy, Environment Canada, or yours?

Environment Canada's Winter Prediction Turned On It's Head

December 1st, Environment Canada predicted 'below seasonal temperatures through December, January and February' for the western provinces, and above seasonal temperatures for our area and eastwards, based on La Nina weather patterns. Environment Canada is now turning that prediction on its head, after record high temperatures out west has seen the closure of ski hills, and outdoor rinks,while the east coast has been blasted by snow storms. Now,according to CBC NEWS, Environment Canada is predicting an opposite weather pattern for the remainder of the winter.So perhaps the groundhog might be a better weather predictor for what is to come.

Traditional Winter Weather Predictors

People have tried to predict the severity and length of winter since time immemorial. One North American winter weather predictor pre-dating Wiarton Willy is the Wooly Bear Caterpillar. The length of the center orange stripe of the fuzzy black and orange Wooly Bear Caterpillar is believed by many locals to be an indicator of the length and severity of the coming winter. While the Old Farmer's Almanac sites a wide Wooly Bear's centre stripe as indicating a mild winter, for our family, it has been seen as the opposite. If this is to be believed then according to the little weather predictor we found earlier this fall, our winter may be one of the harshest, or mildest on record, as our fuzzy friend had only a speck of black on each end this year.

Famous Ground Hogs Predict Winter's End

Ground hog Day finds its roots in an old European tradition of looking for the end of winter on Candlemas Day-February 2nd. An old couplet from Scotland states

"If Candlemas Day is bright and clear,
There'll be two winters in the year."

In 1887, German settlers in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania are said to have started the tradition of watching to see if the groundhog would see its shadow-thus Punxsutawney Phil was born. Much later in 1956, Wiarton Willy started his weather predicting career in Ontario, Canada, and the earliest riser of all Canadian groundhogs is Schubenacadie Sam in Nova Scotia.
So what is your weather prediction for the rest of the winter? Will there be 6 more weeks? Your chances of being correct, may be just as accurate as Environment Canada.
Sources:http://www.almanac.com/content/predicting-winter-weather-woolly-bear-caterpillars

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/12/01/weather-forecast-canada.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/02/01/weather-warm-winter.html

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