Groundhog Day 2013: When It Is, Local Events and More

Potomac Phil makes his appearance in D.C. at the same time as Punxsutawney Phil, airings of the movie 'Groundhog Day' and Purcellville's annual celebration.

Groundhog Day 2013 is Feb. 2 this year—again. (That’s Saturday.)

The weather in the past week across Northern Virginia makes Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction about whether we’ll have six more weeks or winter anyone’s guess.

Last Friday, several schools in the area were closed or delayed due to sleet. By Tuesday and Wednesday, temperatures reached almost 70 degrees before plunging back into the 40s Thursday. Flurries are in the forecast Friday morning.

An Early Spring or More Winter?

The forecast for Groundhog day 2013 in McLean calls for mostly cloudy skies and a high of 38 degrees.

The forecast that matters on Groundhog Day—the one at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Penn.—calls for snow showers and a high of 22 degrees. That means there’s a good chance of cloudy skies, and that means Punxsutawney Phil will not see his shadow. Not seeing his shadow means we may get an early spring after all!

On Groundhog Day 2012, Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter. But, across the north and eastern portions of the United States, including here in Northern Virginia, the average temperature in February and March 2012 was higher than normal. Maybe Punxsutawney Phil will do better this year. (See the history of Phil’s predictions here.) 

Potomac Phil and Other Groundhog Day Events

Closer to home, Potomac Phil will make his second annual appearance in Dupont Circle at 7:30 a.m. Saturday. The DC celebration will include accordion music, VIP guests, polka dancing and more.

In 2012, Potomac Phil predicted 6 more weeks of winter, but February 2012 averaged about five degrees above historic Washington, DC, temperatures. March was about 10 degrees above average calling into question whether Potomac Phil has the same weather-predicting chops as his Pennsylvania cousin.

Even closer to home, the annual Groundhog Day celebration in Purcellville is planned from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, Friday, Feb. 1. There may still be time to register this morning. Here are details:

  • Feb. 1. Groundhog Day.
    Kids ages 3 to 5. 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    Celebrate Groundhog Day by learning about shadows and playing a groundhog game. Preregister.
    Loudoun Valley Community Center, Purcellville, VA.

 Loudoun Family Services has provided a document with Groundhog Day activities that can be downloaded here.

The Angelika Film Center in Falls Church is showing the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day on Feb. 1 and Feb. 2 at 11:45 p.m.

The AMC Channel on local cable and video providers will also offer airings of the movie this weekend. Check your local listings.

Down in Annandale, the kids can meet Willard and Mother Nature, two costumed characters, and learn about how animals predict the weather from 1:45 – 2:45 p.m. Saturday.

Also, check out this round-up of family-friendly Groundhog Day 2013 events across Northern Virginia.

What's your prediction? Will we see six more weeks of winter, or will spring come early this year? Tell us in the comments!


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