On the second of February each year, the badger decides whether spring is approaching early or if winter is coming for weeks. At least that is the common belief in the United States, where “hard dayGroundhog Day is celebrated.
“It has to do with an ancient weather rule, according to which – if a marmot sees its shadow upon waking – it must remain cool for another six weeksexplains Jürgen Vogt, WDR meteorologist.
However: the badger is not really reliable as a weatherman. “The incidence has been studied since 1887 – and ranges roughly between 30 and 40 percentThis means: in more than two-thirds of cases the rodent is wrong, says Vogt. Weather expert Vogt is not surprised:One day can never be decisive of what the weather will be like in the future. “
Regel originally comes from Westphalia
But maybe it’s also because weather forecasts weren’t originally made by badgers? Because the base actually comes from Westphalia. And not badgers were used to predict the weather, but badgers were.
German immigrants brought with them the customs and wisdom of the peasants to their new home. Badgers were rare there – instead of them there were badgers. You can also keep a better eye on them because they are not nocturnal.
Known from the movie
Since 1886, the Farmer’s Judgment has become an event: V.I Buxutawney in Pennsylvania. The badger citizens wake up there elephant From hibernation and ask him for the weather forecast for the first time at a big party. As many as 30,000 visitors catch the spectacle each year with the supposedly immortal marmotelephant.
This tradition became world famous in 1993 with we-comedyBadger says hello every day” Bill Murray nasty one television-The meteorologist who compiles the annual reports on Groundhog Day from Buxutawney Dislikes. In the film, he gets stuck in a time period: every morning February 2nd starts over again.
Marmots are hibernating
But it does not matter whether the time has come or not: the meteorologist Jürgen Vogt warns against waking the badger from its slumber. Because it still stands at the beginning of February.
And bad-tempered badgers will not be useful for predicting the weather – just as bad-tempered meteorologists are.
The World Development Report will also report on this topic on February 2, 2023 on WDR TV and Radio.
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