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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Titan in the Playground
     
    DrowGuy

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    confused What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    This is an inspiration for Groundhog Day which happened yesterday. Anyway, I never understand how can a groundhog can predict the season by its shadow. Is there science behind it or no?
    It's time to get my Magikarp on!

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    Dragon in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    There is no science at all. It's just a superstition.
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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bartmanhomer View Post
    This is an inspiration for Groundhog Day which happened yesterday. Anyway, I never understand how can a groundhog can predict the season by its shadow. Is there science behind it or no?
    It cannot, it's a groundhog. People are just having stupid fun.
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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    There is no science at all. It's just a superstition.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    It cannot, it's a groundhog. People are just having stupid fun.
    I should have known better.
    It's time to get my Magikarp on!

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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    Supposedly, cloud cover helps retain heat. If the groundhog sees it's shadow, it's not cloudy, therefore it will take longer for the temperatures to return to normal.

    But that's probably just nonsense to explain the superstition.
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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    StarDate 2021-02-02
    Quote Originally Posted by Stardate.org
    It’s one of several celebrations that have been tied to February 2nd, which is known as a cross-quarter day because it occurs roughly halfway between a solstice and an equinox. In some cultures, the date marked the end of winter, not the middle of it as it does in the modern western calendar.
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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    The problem with that is that the seasons lag the solstices by months. In the northern hemisphere it's a toss up whether February or January is the coldest month, some places it's January, some it's February (is there anywhere far from a sea where it's December?), it tends to be nearness the Gulf stream or similar flows that makes the cold later.

    Nearer the equator it doesn't make much difference, but in Britain or further north it matters quite a lot when the coldest times are.
    Last edited by halfeye; 2021-02-03 at 02:59 PM.
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    Dragon in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by halfeye View Post
    The problem with that is that the seasons lag the solstices by months. In the northern hemisphere it's a toss up whether February or January is the coldest month, some places it's January, some it's February (is there anywhere far from a sea where it's December?), it tends to be nearness the Gulf stream or similar flows that makes the cold later.

    Nearer the equator it doesn't make much difference, but in Britain or further north it matters quite a lot when the coldest times are.
    Speaking as someone who lives at the same latitude as the filming location for Tatooine, I can safely attest that it matters a great deal to me when the coldest times are. Mostly because I hate those times.
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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    For a moment there I thought that you were pulling a Star Trek joke.
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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Speaking as someone who lives at the same latitude as the filming location for Tatooine, I can safely attest that it matters a great deal to me when the coldest times are. Mostly because I hate those times.
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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    The high here for the next week is 8 Fahrenheit, dipping down to a biting -15. I conclude the groundhog decided screw this noise and retreated to the warmest hole he could locate.

    Still better than two years ago, when we got polar vortexed all the way to -40. Delightfully, -40 is the same in Fahrenheit and Celsius, so you don't have worry about people complaining about how exactly you're measuring your happy fun weather times.
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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    The weird thing to me always was, how did they actually ever know what the groundhog saw? They might have missed their shadow, or thought it was something else. Is there a fellow on-staff fluent in groundhog whistles to ask him? And if so, how do I get that job?
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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lettuce View Post
    The weird thing to me always was, how did they actually ever know what the groundhog saw? They might have missed their shadow, or thought it was something else. Is there a fellow on-staff fluent in groundhog whistles to ask him? And if so, how do I get that job?
    The logical and cultural implications of this are very funny.

    "We saw the groundhog scurry back into its hole."
    "Groundhogs are timid creatures, so clearly it was scared."
    "What's the most logical thing for it to be scared of?"
    "Its shadow, obviously. We're all braver than groundhogs, but we're still terrified of our shadows."

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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lettuce View Post
    The weird thing to me always was, how did they actually ever know what the groundhog saw? They might have missed their shadow, or thought it was something else. Is there a fellow on-staff fluent in groundhog whistles to ask him? And if so, how do I get that job?
    Phil does indeed have a translator. I believe he communicates in writing.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Dragon in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Phil does indeed have a translator. I believe he communicates in writing.
    Phil is wealthy though. Have you seen his servants? Filthy rich, I tells ya.
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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Phil is wealthy though. Have you seen his servants? Filthy rich, I tells ya.
    I have in fact. I get to see him in person when there isnt a death plague. I want to be able to afford hats like that for my minions.
    “Evil is evil. Lesser, greater, middling, it's all the same. Proportions are negotiated, boundaries blurred. I'm not a pious hermit, I haven't done only good in my life. But if I'm to choose between one evil and another, then I prefer not to choose at all.”

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    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lettuce View Post
    The weird thing to me always was, how did they actually ever know what the groundhog saw? They might have missed their shadow, or thought it was something else. Is there a fellow on-staff fluent in groundhog whistles to ask him? And if so, how do I get that job?
    In the case of Punxsutawney Phil, it's completely scripted. The human writers decide in advance whether he will "see his shadow," and then a human actor announces what the writers decided in advance.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lettuce View Post
    The weird thing to me always was, how did they actually ever know what the groundhog saw? They might have missed their shadow, or thought it was something else. Is there a fellow on-staff fluent in groundhog whistles to ask him? And if so, how do I get that job?
    That's probably something that prevents it being easily defalsified.

    Practically I think there's also a case that you do get seasonal events (e.g. this Texan snowfall) that do correlate with others (warmer weather in the northern states)
    It doesn't seem unreasonable that a warmer day in early Feb is more likely to happen when you get an early spring and less likely when it's not (similarly a rainy St Swithen's day is more likely to be the case in the years when it's more likely to rain generally).

    And with a bit of fudging about whether it really was a cold early spring or warm late winter, and "it might have been that bird he saw", a 60-40 predictability could easily be presented as 75-25 [with fake hindsight]
    Last edited by jayem; 2021-02-20 at 08:33 AM.

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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by jayem View Post
    That's probably something that prevents it being easily defalsified.
    IIRC, the official canon is that if Phil gets it 'wrong', it was an error on the part of the translator who speaks Groundhogese.
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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    IIRC, the official canon is that if Phil gets it 'wrong', it was an error on the part of the translator who speaks Groundhogese.
    The translator speaks Groundhogese? Well there's your problem! They need to be speaking Groundhoggish! And that's not even going into those jokers who try to pass with Groundhogian!
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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    IIRC, the official canon is that if Phil gets it 'wrong', it was an error on the part of the translator who speaks Groundhogese.
    Not gonna lie, I'm a bit disappointed that the official story isn't that if Phil gets it "wrong", it was an error on the part of the weather.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

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    Default Re: What's The Science Behind The Groundhog Predicts The Season?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    Not gonna lie, I'm a bit disappointed that the official story isn't that if Phil gets it "wrong", it was an error on the part of the weather.
    Well, Phil isn't the only player in the game (though they act like he is). Among a few notable others, there's Fred la marmotte, who as a father and son have been pulling weather prediction duty for a decade now. Unlike Phil, they are not undead abominations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
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