Saturday, February 02, 2013

Phil's Calls & Philly's Remaining Winter

Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow today, the third no shadow prediction from the Western Pennsylvania rodent in the last seven years and his seventeenth overall.  Phil's track record as far as Philadelphia is concerned is a relatively mixed, but he has had more "successes" than not over the past eight years.

Last year's "forecast" was not one of them.  Despite seeing his shadow, Philadelphia had as many days of accumulating snow for the balance of winter (two) as it did featuring highs of 70 or above through mid March (the six week mark after his forecast) and had ten days of 60 or warmer.  Not as good a call as you'd like, rodent or not!

Philadelphia averages 11.5" of snow after February 2nd through the end of winter...so Phil's track record the past eight years is a mixed bag of hits, misses, and outright strike outs.


His best hits are 2010, with three big storms in the course of February, and 2009 -- with two snowfalls after February 2nd that gave the city 17" of snow between them.  He was pretty accurate in 2011 -- one notable snowfall in late February but otherwise the cold and snow of January relaxed considerably.  Other solid hits include 2006 and 2005 -- above the seasonal average both of those years in snow.

His misses include 2012 and 2007...2007 featured our coldest February since the late 70's and two ice storms in a four week window.

At least locally, at least from a snow standpoint, he's batting pretty decently over the not-too-distant past.  The question remains will he correct last year's strike out this year?  We'll have six weeks to find out.