Skip to Content

Groundhog Brings Weather Prediction, Headaches For Homeowners

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Groundhog Brings Weather Prediction, Headaches For Homeowners

Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of Winter but what about our own groundhogs right here in the Upper Cumberland?

They don’t predict the weather.

In fact, Overton County UT-Ag Extension Agent Jason Garrett said the groundhog is the biggest rodent in the Upper Cumberland. Garrett said that despite the groundhog’s fame in the United States, it can bring some real headaches beyond extra cold weather.

“The common gardener will have a very hard problem keeping groundhogs out of their garden,” Garrett said. “Also burrowing since we have a lot of human development. For example, South Overton County, Cookeville, burrowing close to homes can get under the foundation and disrupt some of that.”

Garrett said with a 39 percent success rate for Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions, he would not base Spring’s arrival on the groundhog. Garrett said he does expect a longer Winter this year, but said it has been about 11 years since we saw an early Spring.

“Usually Spring always arrives sometime around March 20,” Garrett said. “I can remember in 2010 Spring hit like March 10. We had a warmer February, it just emerged, people were getting Spring fever. I haven’t seen that since.”

Garrett said the first mention of Groundhog Day goes back to 1840, with it being an official holiday by 1887. He said the prediction is a fun tradition, that might come true this year.

“The way it looks outside right now, I could pretty much say Winter is going to be here for a little while longer,” Garrett said. “It’s supposed to get down to the teens this weekend. So that’s pretty cool, cold weather is coming. I don’t blame the groundhog for going back in his hole.”

Garrett said the groundhog is also known as the woodchuck. He said by any name, they are in the large ground squirrel group known as marmots. Groundhogs can be found from the Southeastern United States, through Canada and into Alaska.






The post Groundhog Brings Weather Prediction, Headaches For Homeowners appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.