RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — After a more than 20-year career in weather prognostication, Raleigh’s most popular groundhog will hang his hat and burrow into retirement.
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences announced Monday Sir Walter Wally would retire from weather forecasting and will not look for his shadow this year.
Sir Walter Wally began his forecasting career in 2001. Since then, he predicted six more weeks of winter 14 of the last 21 years. While he may have tried his best, the furry forecaster did not have the best track record. His accuracy rate was only 43 percent.
The museum said there would be no Groundhog Day Shadow Ceremony or live groundhog this year. There is still a big morning-of program planned for that day, however.
Visitors can still stop by the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., to learn about animals in winter, explore groundhog-related crafts and games and enjoy a live animal program.
The full list of exhibits and activities includes:
- Animal Architects – Groundhogs burrow into the earth to create their home. Learn about other animals that build their homes in the ground.
- Animals in Winter – Groundhogs hibernate for winter, but how do other animals survive the cold? Meet some live ambassador animals and uncover their winter routines.
- Groundhog Hats – Make your own groundhog headbands.
- Groundhog Toss Game – These groundhogs think there are six more weeks of winter headed their way. Help them get back in their burrow.
- History of the Groundhog Day – Ever wonder how Groundhog Day came to be? You’ll learn about the history of Groundhog Day and get to meet one of the original animals that was used to predict an early (or late) spring.
- Rodents of the World – Learn cool facts about some of the variety of rodents around the world.