2024 Heat Accumulation vs Rodent Prognostication

Credits: Steve Wrzeszczynski via Unsplash
People waiting for Punxsutawney Phil's prediction at Gobbler's Knob
Fri, Feb 02, 2024

Each year, people gather to hear Punxsutawney Phil's prediction of what the next six weeks of weather will bring. This year, Phil predicted an early spring! But what does the science say? 

Our maps of heat accumulation provide a more scientific look at how much heat has accumulated so far this year, and what's next. Our maps show that heat accumulation this year is ahead of schedule for many parts of the west and east coast, and behind schedule in the Southern Great Plains and Southeast. Nature's Notebook observers have reported leaf out and flowering at locations along the west and east coast and Southeast.

According to predictions from NOAA's Climate Prediction Center, Phil is right for much of the Northwest, upper Great Plains, Midwest, and parts of the Northeast - warm temperatures are on the way! The rest of the county should see near normal temperatures over the next month or so.