Every year on February 2, aka Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his burrow to predict the weather forecast. This year, he did not see his shadow, which supposedly means winter is ending, and spring will come early. However, meteorologists are also weighing in, and aren't agreeing with the critter's forecast.
AccuWeather explains that most of the country will have seasonable winter weather for the next six weeks. Senior meteorologist Dave Samuhel says though this January was one of the warmest on record across the entire country, there will likely be lots of snow and freezing temperatures in February and March.
Although there was very little snow in the Northeast in January, the next few months will make up for the lack of precipitation. "A stormy pattern will couple with cold air in Canada to produce colder and snowier-than-average conditions through the first couple weeks of March," Samuhel explains. He doesn't think spring will arrive until April for the northeastern part of the country. In the Carolinas and Appalachians, cold air and moisture will bring snow for the next few weeks.
Those in the southeastern area of the United States will see warmer temperatures creep in late February and early March, Samuhel says. Overall, both temperatures and precipitation will be slightly above average, except for Florida, which will be warm but dry. People in the Midwest and Plains have already had a fairly snowy winter, and that will probably continue, Samuhel says. "Temperatures may not be much below normal, but the weather pattern will be fairly active with near- to above-normal precipitation, a lot of which can fall as snow," he adds.
Temperatures may not be much below normal, but the weather pattern will be fairly active with near- to above-normal precipitation, a lot of which can fall as snow.
However, there is one area that is most likely to see springtime come soon: the West. Temperatures in the western part of the country will rise for those who live in the southwestern region could see more rain thanks to a jetstream. If you're looking for a more comprehensive breakdown of each region's expected weather, AccuWeather just released a follow-up spring forecast.
We'll have to wait a couple of months to see if Punxsutawney Phil is correct. However, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, he's been right 40% of the time in the past 10 years, so there's a good chance he'll be incorrect again. Plus, the Farmers' Almanac and The Old Farmer's Almanac both predicted a cold, snowy winter, so it's likely warmer weather won't be here anytime soon.