Groundhog Is Bad Weather Forecaster


Wednesday, February 7th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Punxsutawney Phil is a lousy prognosticator, according to government statistics.

Every Feb. 2 since 1887, watchers have checked to see if Phil could see his shadow, which would indicate six more weeks of winter.

But his predictions since 1988 haven't matched up to national temperatures, meteorologists at the National Climatic Data Center concluded.

``Phil showed no predictive skill during these years,'' said Tom Ross, a meteorologist with the center operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Last Friday, Phil saw his shadow, as he has 101 times in the last 115 years.

NOAA spokeswoman Pat White said Wednesday the comparison was meant to inject some humor into otherwise dull weather statistics, but ``some people didn't think it was funny.''

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On the Net:

NOAA: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/ol/climate/extremes/2001/groundhog/groundhog.html