Saturday is Groundhog Day. The weather in the past week across Northern Virginia - ice, 70-degrees and then snow - makes Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction about whether we’ll have six more weeks or winter anyone’s guess.
An Early Spring or More Winter?
The Reston forecast for Groundhog Day 2013 calls for mostly cloudy skies and a high of 38 degrees. That's chilly enough for the annual Virginia Polar Dip, which starts at Lake Anne Plaza at noon.
The forecast that matters on Groundhog Day—the one at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Penn.—calls for snow showers and a high of 22 degrees. That means there’s a good chance of cloudy skies, and that means Punxsutawney Phil will not see his shadow. Not seeing his shadow means we may get an early spring after all!
On Groundhog Day 2012, Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter. But, across the north and eastern portions of the United States, including here in Northern Virginia, the average temperature in February and March 2012 was higher than normal. Maybe Punxsutawney Phil will do better this year. (See the history of Phil’s predictions here.)
Potomac Phil and Other Groundhog Day Events
Closer to home, Potomac Phil will make his second annual appearance in Dupont Circle at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The DC celebration will include accordion music, VIP guests, polka dancing and more.
In 2012, Potomac Phil predicted 6 more weeks of winter, but February 2012 averaged about five degrees above historic Washington, DC, temperatures. March was about 10 degrees above average calling into question whether Potomac Phil has the same weather-predicting chops as his Pennsylvania cousin.
The Angelika Film Center in Falls Church is showing the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day on Feb. 1 and Feb. 2 at 11:45 p.m.
Cable channel AMC will also offer airings of the movie this weekend. Check your local listings.
Also, check out this round-up of family-friendly Groundhog Day 2013 events across Northern Virginia.
What's your prediction? Will we see six more weeks of winter, or will spring come early this year? Tell us in the comments.