Farmers Almanac
The Farmers Almanac
BUY The 2018 Almanac NOW!

Will Spring Come Early? Ask Us, Not The Groundhog!

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Add to Google+ Share on Pinterest Subscribe by Email Print This Post
Will Spring Come Early? Ask Us, Not The Groundhog!

While everyone will be waiting with bated breath on February 2nd, Groundhog Day (also known as Candlemas Day), to see what the famous groundhog in Pennsylvania predicts for the remainder of the winter, all of us at Farmers’ Almanac will be sitting back smiling. After all, we have the forecast for the next 6 weeks — and 6 months!

Predicting the weather is no easy task. Even meteorologists who use the most updated radar satellite tracking systems often get it wrong, even though they are predicting only 24 hours ahead of time. It’s the one thing that none of us can predict with 100% accuracy because, ultimately, Mother Nature is in charge.

We find it refreshing that in this world of instant communication and high tech weather apps, the groundhog still gets plenty of attention for being able to predict what’s in store for the next 6 weeks. And according to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day (no shadow), then spring will come early; if it is sunny, and the groundhog sees its shadow, winter weather will persist for six more weeks.

For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far the snow will swirl until May;
For as the snow blows on Candlemas Day,
So far will the sun shine before May.

(Continued Below)

We love folklore and often find it to be surprisingly accurate (did you know other animals have weather forecasting abilities? Take a look here.), however, the Farmers’ Almanac’s long-range weather forecasts are not based on folklore but rather a set of rules that take many astronomical and mathematical factors into consideration.

Will spring come early?
If you have your copy of the 2017 Farmers’ Almanac handy, you’ll see that we have a very frigid February forecast for most areas of North America, forewarning of temperatures of -40º F in some areas! Spring weather will not be arriving anytime soon. In fact, be sure to check out what we’re predicting for the middle of the month.

The good news? Farmers’ Almanac forecasts do predict a very timely transition to spring when it officially starts with the equinox on March 20th. Check our your zone’s forecast here, or get spring, summer, and next fall’s forecast in the 2017 edition.

Happy Groundhog’s Day! We, too, will be watching to see what the sleepy marmot predicts, but shadow or no, we won’t be putting away our winter coats anytime soon.

Articles you might also like...

15 comments

1 Walter Clark { 03.11.17 at 8:38 pm }

If these arctic cold temperatures keeps up in the future, that may end up be the end of the era for the groundhog, who predicts when Winter will end, and when Spring will arrive, which would happen way beyond March 21st, first day of spring.
If the arctic cold temperatures keep up in the future, the Northeast U.S., and Midwest U.S. may end up getting a new nickname: Siberia of America, just like Siberia in Russia, in its village called Oymyakon, where it is cold, that low temperatures range in the far below range in the minus (-) range.
If this keeps up, just like that village in Siberia, one of the cities in the Northeast like Albany (NY), or Boston (MA),or the Midwest like Chicago (Ill), or Cleveland (OH), may end up also become the coldest city or town on Earth, very similar to what happens on a tundra e.g. in Siberia in Russia, northern parts of Alaska, or northern parts of Canada in its arctic regions (Yukon, Yukon Territories, Nunavut, and northern parts of Quebec), that may be too dangerous for inhabitants, because of dangerous frigid cold temperatures, that may end up form a permafrost, and the Summers sometime in the future in the Midwest, and Northeast U.S. may be very similar to in Siberia (Kiss warm temperatures that people enjoy during Spring and Summer goodbye). U.S. government should do something soon, so people can enjoy these warm temperatures, so the groundhog can predict when Spring can come much sooner (by fixing that tradition),so people can enjoy these warm temperatures in the Northeast, and Midwest U.S. in the future.
The arctic cold temperatures may outrun the groundhog who predicts when the warm weather will arrive,if it keeps up, that tradition may or will end.

2 Walter Clark { 03.11.17 at 8:08 pm }

If these arctic cold temperatures keeps up in the future, that may end up be the end of the era for the groundhog, who predicts when Winter will end, and when Spring will arrive, which would happen way beyond March 21st, first day of spring.
If the arctic cold temperatures keep up in the future, the Northeast U.S., and MidwestvU.S.,

3 Walter Clark { 03.11.17 at 7:17 am }

I’m afraid that those people who live in the northeastern United States may not be able to see spring for quite some time beyond March 21st in 2017. Much colder arctic air on March 11 in the northeast replaces warmer air that is typically part of Spring, that makes grass green and flowers bloom. But that colder air would completely wipe that warmer air out, and much colder air that kill those flowers replaces it.
If you want warm spring air in 2017, you would have to travel to the southwestern U.S. e.g. to California, Arizona, or New Mexico, and if you don’t like the cold arctic air, avoid areas in the Northeast U.S.,parts of Canada, and parts of the upper midwest U.S. where arctic air is situated.(Northeast U.S. won’t probably see spring about in April or May).

4 Matt { 02.26.17 at 9:06 am }

Bunches of Canadian geese flying north this past week… (Syracuse, NY) As a gardener/farmer, wouldn’t mind an early start to the season

5 Stephanie { 02.22.17 at 7:32 pm }

They were completely wrong this year. They called for truly frigid temperatures for the south in February, and it’s actually been in the 60s and 70s almost all winter. We had maybe two weeks of 30° weather. This winter sucked!

6 Randy { 02.14.17 at 11:01 am }

They got it so wrong for the Great Lakes, Ohio Valley Region — it’s been warmer than normal!

7 Frank Alverio { 02.04.17 at 5:11 pm }

Well, we are already having more warm sunny days then rainy cold days here in Hawaii about 200 miles away from Mauna Kea’s Snow capped mountains and on the foothills of Mauna Loa which has a little to snow while the migrating birds have already returned to the trees around my house much to my bird catching cats delight so Spring is gong to return Early for my local region/environment (Rain Forest below a volcanic desert)
Its a factor not not taken into account by the likes of Poxatonti Phil…different regions and different locals location on earth aolng with the local and regional precipitation cycles are heavily effected by the earth’s tilt and distance in relation to the sun as well as the speed the Earth is travelling around the sun…all which vary annually
Add that each region has a parnter region it shares its weather cycles with and you cans see how Hawaii steals the bulk of California’s precipitation making it a Desert environment
Of course, while the days feel like Spring the night wind blows over all that snow on the mountain and can make the nights in the low 30’s near the mountain and in the low 50’s out here….so it’s like Spring days and Winter nights…lol

8 micheal { 02.02.17 at 12:16 am }

True that…. Always, the behaviors of animals/mammals are indeed a trusted instinct symbiotic with “nature” of the planet earth & water affected by weather patterns, solar (flares) system, pole shift, industrial non-Eco friendly practices, human conditioning, etc. …. and then, there is the indigenous/local daily farmer, mail carrier, commuter cyclist, fisherman, sailor, landscaper, rancher/farmer, even the body-hardware replacement barometer and other lifestyles that lend themselves a better guesstimate more times than not; as compared to those who are paid a lot of money to be 50% wrong in their predictions. Be One, Heart2Heart, 528 Hz.

9 david hunt { 02.01.17 at 6:32 pm }

they predicted Vancouver bc weather with amazing accuracy this winter

10 Kimberly { 02.01.17 at 6:25 pm }

I don’t know how much to believe this prediction. They predicted chilly with lots of rain for South Central this winter but we’ve had record breaking temps the majority of the season.
Here in Houston is was 83 today!! We only had cold, really cold, temps for 1 weekend. Usually Farmer’s Almanac is pretty dead-on but they missed our forecast by a mile this time around.

11 Bex { 02.01.17 at 11:24 am }

Yes reaeing nature and knowing it hints gives us much understanding f what wearher s to cme aboutl.ai really like he Farmers Almannac to sustain Natures signs I aee

12 Norm { 02.01.17 at 11:05 am }

Another bit of weather folk lore that I heard from an older fellow sometime ago is, “If it thunders in February, it will either frost or be unusually cold on the same date in May”, he said that the first time someone told him that, he thought they were crazy, but after checking it for himself, that most of the time they were right. I have watched and it usually turns out to be true.

13 Suzette Trimmer { 02.01.17 at 10:17 am }

Grew up over 60 years ago in Up-State Michigan raised by Grandparents both first generations born in USA . They taught me all the tricks of the trade they grew up knowing how to always have a bountiful harvest, based all and only on the signs all around us Nature provides. I love the fact That FARMERS ALMANAC also informs the reader to the fact that many other animals are true authentic weather predictors. My favorite reliable animal for winter conditions is the common squirrel. We rely on a wood burning a stove to keep our home warm. As such “knowing” what to expect is critical for our comfort all winter long. I am proud to say that due to FARMERS ALMANAC we have always been prepared over past 20 years by being prepared for whatever winter weather is headed our way. Thank you to all at Framer’s Almanac who research and provide us all with any current updated information that helps us all keep it Simple and Real.

14 Susan Higgins { 02.02.17 at 9:23 am }

Thank you Susan Morrison!

15 morrison.susan { 02.01.17 at 10:04 am }

I am a true believer with the weather predictions Farmer’s Almanac publishes. We always plan accordingly!

Leave a Comment

Note: Comments that further the discussion of the above content are likely to be approved. Those comments that are vague or are simply submitted in order to promote a product, service or web site, although not necessarily considered "spam," are generally not approved.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

Spring Is Here – Sign Up Today!

The Farmers' Almanac is a gardener's best friend. Get 365 days of access to our online weather and gardening calendars + a copy of the 2017 Almanac
for only $13.99 $11.99!

Subscribe Today »