The myth goes that if a groundhog sees his shadow on Feb 2, six more weeks of winter are yet to come, but if he doesn't, spring is just around the corner.
I am wondering if there is any science behind this myth, or perhaps an origin based on observations of actual weather patterns relating to the seasons.
Never mind the groundhog, I am thinking about sky conditions and the seasons.
Specifically, where I am in southern Ontario Canada, winter is usually at its coldest around the start of February. At this time of year we are often under an arctic high pressure "dome"; skies are often clear. As the cold gives way to milder weather, we often end up under the jetstream, or at least it sweeps back and forth over us, delivering a lot of stormy, wintry weather, after which the jetstream at the boundary of the polar air mass eventually retreats north and spring arrives.
Is this an oversimplification? If not, could this sort of pattern be the origin of the myth: generally clear skies mean winter remains settled in, more unsettled weather means winter is about to give way to spring?