When Exactly is the Groundhog's Early Spring?

Are there any forms of the tradition that specify a certain date for the “early spring” that comes from the animal not seeing his shadow? My young son has been restricted from throwing snowballs until Spring. We talked about Groundhog Day and agreed that since he has been good lately then if Punxsutawney Phil (Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary) determined that Spring came early then his punishment would end early too. So now I’m wondering if there is any factual way to determine that date. If not, what are some ways I might go about chosing a likely date?

I remind people every year that March 21 is almost 7 weeks from February 2, which means that 6 more weeks of winter is the same thing as an early spring.

If he sees his shadow, we get six more weeks of winter.
If he doesn’t see his shadow, it’s only another month and a half.

Calculate from there.

Cecil’s column on this utter superstitious stupidity.

Where I live, 6 more weeks of winter from Feb 2 is an early spring. Groundhog Day never made much sense to me. I’ve never heard of any tradition regarding what exactly constitutes an “early spring”, but I’d propose that for the OP’s purposes the halfway point, i.e. 3 weeks, would seem appropriate. A significant but not complete reprieve.

But snow melts in Spring. That’s how you know it’s Spring. :confused:

The groundhog silliness is about weather, and the Spring equinox is a celetial alignment and nothing else.

Where I live. We get tree blossoms as early as January. Not this year, but I expect to see some soon.

Yeah, looking at local weather records, the average temperature on December 1 is almost the same as February 28/29, which are the start and end of meteorological winter, with the coldest day in the second week of January (obviously not true everywhere; areas near the cost for example tend to have a longer lag due to the water, but generally much closer than Dec 21-March 21).

Similarly, summer is June-August, although there is somewhat more of a shift towards August, again, at least where I live, with the hottest day in the third week of July; the time from the coldest to hottest day of the year is about a month longer than from hottest to coldest day.