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Groundhog Day: What’s in store for the rest of winter?

Barry Reeger – freelancer, FR171704 AP

Groundhog Club manager AJ Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil, the Weather Prognostic Groundhog, during the 136th Groundhog Day celebration on Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022. Phil’s handlers said the groundhog has planned six more weeks of winter.

SPOKANE, Wash. – Famous Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Feb. 2, 2022, and his prediction of six more weeks of winter is in line with what all signs are pointing to in the Interior Northwest.

This, however, is more down to luck than skill. The National Weather Service has tracked Phil’s accuracy over the years at 40%. Ouch!

Locally, the groundhog’s predictions are even worse than for the country as a whole. Phil was only successful 30% of the time using the same scoring system as the NWS.

Phil’s prognosis doesn’t match the long-term predictions in his own hometown! February is very likely to be hot in the east and cold in the northwest according to the US Climate Prediction Center. This pattern is also present for the next three months, which is double the six weeks that Phil is supposed to be planning. This is a common pattern during La Niña winters. You can read more about what La Niña is and how it impacts our weather in the link below.

MORE: Another likely La Niña winter in the northwest
RELATED: Analysis: La Niña Doesn’t Guarantee a Super Snowy Winter

cpc february temperature outlook

temperatures season fma 2022

La Niña winters also tend to be 12-25% snowier than average here. So far, Spokane has had 30.7 inches of snow this winter, just below the average pace. Over the past five years, February has had more snowfall than January, but is that a real trend or just a statistical ghost? It will take years to know for sure, but the tendency of La Niña patterns to increase winter weather towards the end of the season points to another period of high winter weather activity before April.

In the short term, no major snowstorms are on the horizon. Stay up to date on your Inland Northwest weather anytime at