Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
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Saturday, February 4, 2012

Punxsutawney Phil and 6 More Weeks of Winter


From the Washington Post, on Feb. 2nd, at 7:25 a.m. this morning, amidst mostly cloudy skies, and temperatures in the low 30s, Groundhog Phil saw his shadow in the little town of Punxsutawney, Pa.

At 7:25 a.m. this morning, amidst mostly cloudy skies, and temperatures in the low 30s, Groundhog Phil saw his shadow in the little town of Punxsutawney, Pa.

At 7:25 a.m. this morning, amidst mostly cloudy skies, and temperatures in the low 30s, Groundhog Phil saw his shadow in the little town of Punxsutawney, Pa.

According to folklore, Phil’s sighting of his own shadow means there will be 6 more weeks of winter. Had Phil not seen his shadow, it would have meant “there will be an early spring.”

If Phil’s forecast is right, it signals a dramatic reversal from the mild weather pattern affecting much of the country. Many parts of the central and eastern U.S. have seen temperatures 20 to 30 degrees above normal in recent days. On February 1, just 19% of the Lower 48 had snow cover compared to 52% at this time last year.

Historic odds heavily favor a forecast for winter to last deep into March. Since the Groundhog’s first prediction in 1887, Phil has seen his shadow 99 times and failed to spot it just 16 times. There are 9 missing years in the record, but Phil has issued a forecast without exception.

But just how accurate is the prognosticator of prognosticators?
It depends on the source.

The official Web site of Punxsutawney Phil, perhaps not impartial, claims the Groundhog has issued a correct forecast 100% of the time.
AccuWeather's grade for the groundhog’s accuracy is slightly lower, but still quite respectable.

Well, it happened.
Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow. And now we’ve got six more weeks of winter on our hands.
But what does he know?

Oh, just look at the next post.  Winter did hit Nebraska just a day or 2 later!

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