Never Mind the Groundhog…Here In Texas It’s Bee Cave Bob Day
Bee Cave Bob Did Not See His Shadow.2/2/2023
Things are already warming up.
When it comes to predicting the weather, science is always the way to go, right? Not necessarily. Computers have studied the accuracy of almanac formulas to derive long-range forecasts. Surprisingly, in many cases, the almanacs achieve nearly identical success rates.
With that in mind, history proves that the folklore of any region is usually based on some kernel of truth. Enter Punxsutawney Phil, the intrepid groundhog from Yankee Pennsylvania. This rodent has been emerging from his den every February 2nd since 1886.
Folklore would say that if Phil sees his shadow, it means six more weeks of winter. Wow, that's a stretch. Looking at the calendar there are another six weeks of winter, more or less before the first day of spring.
However, if it is cloudy and Phil doesn't see his shadow, it means an "early spring". Not very scientific and is highly subject to interpretation. Does one record high temperature in six weeks constitute an "early spring"?
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA says Phil has an overall success rate of 39% Over the last ten years, he has done slightly better at 40%. So much for the prognostications of a "Yankee" rodent.
Here in Texas, we know all that groundhog talk is pure nonsense. If you want to predict an early spring, you turn to an animal that is synonymous with road trips in The Lone Star State, the armadillo.
Bee Cave, Texas' Bob the Armadillo is the real deal. The Washington Post, about as respected a newspaper as there can be these days, that that's not saying a lot, has profiled Bob.
Bee Cave Bob hasn't been around quite as long as Punxsutawney Phil. For 14 years, Bob, which is a lot easier to spell, has been emerging on February 2nd. I hesitate to describe where it is her emerges FROM. Knowing armadillos it might be an unsavory place, like a garbage can.
In any event, over the last five years, Bee Cave Bob has almost exactly the same success rate as the rat, I mean groundhog in Pennsylvania.
Phil predicted more winter/Bob predicted an early spring. The results: Texas weather for February 2022 was 2.3 degrees below normal.
Phil predicted more Winter. Bob hid in his burrow due to the pandemic. If that wasn't an omen. We all know what happened in February 2021. The coldest temperatures ever recorded happened on February 16th.
I can't go on.
Suffice it to say, the last time Bob was right was in 2018. I know plenty of people with about the same record for accuracy and that doesn't stop them from making predictions either.
More power to Bee Cave Bob. I get the crazy feeling that Bob will not see his shadow year. Let's just hope he doesn't freeze to death or the ice doesn't freeze his shell. I don't know what THAT would mean, but it couldn't be good.
Suffice it to say, I'm a proud Texan and my inclination is to go with Bee Cave Bob come ice or high water. Yet, I'm so sick of winter already, I'm going with whoever says an early spring is coming. Sorry, Bob, I guess I'm just a fair-weather friend.
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