Was The Groundhog Right? NOAA Issues Their Spring Forecast
Let's go back in time a couple of weeks to Groundhog Day. In Pennsylvania Punxatawny Phil saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter. In New Iberia our Acadiana version of the groundhog, Pierre C Shadeaux did not see a shadow thus proclaiming an early arrival of Spring to South Louisiana.
Meanwhile, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration spent billions of tax dollars on satellites, computer models, meteorologists, weather balloons, and radar devices to agree with one of those rodents.
The rodent the U.S. Government agrees with is Acadiana's own Pierre C. Shadeaux. According to the recently released three-month outlook for March, April, and May, there is a 50% probability that Louisiana residents will experience above normal temperatures.
That same outlook suggests that we will see a drier than average Spring across the state. That usually bodes well for warmer temperatures as cloud cover and rainfall tend to keep temperatures a few degrees cooler.
In case you were wondering NOAA does keep track of Punxatawny Phil's predictions. Over the past decade, the Pennsylvania rodent has been right about 50% of the time. So, if you were going to place a wager on the National Weather Service or Phil I'd go with the guys in the lab coats, they're right a little more often but for the real forecast, you'd better go with these guys. They are on the money over 80% of the time.