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Georgia's Groundhog Gen. Beauregard Lee Predicts Early Spring

Did the groundhog see his shadow? For all those ready for spring, "Georgia's Official Weather Prognosticator" delivers good news at the Yellow River Game Ranch.

As quickly as he darted out of his plantation-style house at the Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn, you'd like to think General Beauregard Lee (Georgia's famed groundhog) didn't have enough time to tell whether or not there was a shadow.

But apparently, "Georgia's Official Weather Prognosticator" did not see his shadow during his annual Groundhog Day appearance Thursday morning.

"It's 7:35 [a.m.] and 40 degrees. No shadow means an early spring," was announced as at least a couple hundred spectators — many chanting and making noise to entice the groundhog out of the house — looked on.

Gen. Lee darted out in a blur, then hid underneath shrubs inside his fenced-in area as game ranch employes chased him out in the open for spectators to see.

After scooting back and forth between shrubs in an amusing game of chase with workers, Beau finally settled in front of his house before the crowd thinned out.

Event organizers say Beau is seldom wrong with his predicitions, although his groundhog counterpart, Punxsutawney Phil in Gobbler's Knob, Pa., didn't agree Thursday. Phil did see his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter.

North Georgia Weather February 03, 2012 at 11:26 AM
Someone asked the question "If I move up north will I have 6 more weeks of winter!" and my answer was "It is possible during certain weather pattern scenarios where one section of the country could be "done" for the winter early while one might just begin having their winter late in the season". That might be what's beginning to happen to us here and I'll have more in a blog post. The National Climatic Data Center says the groundhogs are about 39% correct overall. Knowing that, I feel better about what is getting ready to happen. I had to look up the history of Groundhog Day http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundhog_Day There is an updated list at the end of all the 'hog predictions for this year.
Kristi Reed (Editor) February 03, 2012 at 11:52 AM
I thought that 39 percent accuracy rate might just be for Phil. I'm hoping Beau has a better track record.
North Georgia Weather February 03, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Well... if you think about what it takes to come up with the prediction, I would think that it's based on the percentage chance of having cloud cover on Groundhog day which is highly variable at any given location. Soooooo.... what does Beau know that the other ones don't? :-)
Kristi Reed (Editor) February 03, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Nope. Sorry. Beau is clearly the superior groundhog with exceptional prognosticating skills :)
Kristi Reed (Editor) February 03, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Steve - I think I just found a video of us online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3e1SQmt9WtQ&feature=related

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