Forecast Competition: Meteorologists vs. Groundhog

While it's Groundhog's day, it's also Super Bowl Sunday.

It's also the first time the two days have ever shared the same day, but when we talk spring, our meteorologists do not like sharing forecast duties with our fuzzy, little friend.

This fuzzy, little face has a lot of responsibility: shoo away negative, winter temperatures.

"For some reason, people think the groundhog is a better predictor than I am," NewsChannel 7 Meteorologist Mark Holley said.

The groundhog's forecast goes like this: He comes out of hibernation. If he sees his shadow, six more weeks of winter is to come.
If he does not see his shadow, we'll have an early spring, according to the decades-old tradition.

"A groundhog to me is a rodent," Holley said, "an absolute rodent."

The groundhog's forecast may be believable for thousands celebrating across the nation, but his game doesn't fool the professionals.

"There are two main groundhogs, there's Sun Prairie Jimmy, which is our Wisconsin own, and then there's one in Pennsylvania," Holley said. "I don't like to mention him by name because i'm a fan of Sun Prairie Jimmy."

Franzen said it's the first time in history Groundhogs Day and Super Bowl Sunday have shared the same day.

Whether winning or losing is an option for two teams in the Super Bowl, sharing forecasts with the fuzzy friend is not.

"Last spring he predicted an early spring, and it snowed on May 2," Holley said. "So I don't think that's a good predictor of an early spring."

No matter who you're cheering for, either at the groundhog celebration or your Super Bowl party ...

"I would think Sun Prairie Jimmy would be a Broncos fan," Holley said.

"The seahawk could come down and swoop and pick him up," Franzen said. "But I still think he's going with the Seahawks."

Choosing NewsChannel 7 for your forecast is your best bet at getting the real spring forecast..

"All of us at NewsChannel 7 in the Weather Authority," Holley said, "all are better meteorologists than the rodent."

Both Franzen and Holley said they forecast a cold February coming for the rest of the month and a short spring.


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