Groundhog Day is one of the weirdest traditions that we have retained from yesteryear.
I think it mainly has to do with rural towns that don’t have much else going for them, but lets them get news at least once per year.
Really, what else do you know about Wiarton, Punxsutawney, or even Balzac (my own hometown) than the fact that an obese rodent lives in each of those cities?
Anecdotally, I know that regardless of what Balzac Billy told me about the end of winter, February and March are usually really cold in Southern Alberta, so it was mostly for a laugh if the mammal suggested that winter was ending.
More empirically, groundhogs have an average that’s actually below 50%, which you might expect if shooting in the dark, however, I think in most of North America, winter tends to stretch about 6 weeks from today regardless of what the animals predict.
Even this year, you have 7 predictions of early Spring, and 4 of continued winter, with some predicting the opposite, within the same state!
Since Groundhogs aren’t worth listening too, here’s my prediction (with no meteorological or climatological training): Vancouver will be warm and rainy right through the Olympics with partial breaks in the clouds, the rest of Canada will be chilly but improving over the next 6 weeks.