Spring is coming … maybe

With a bit of luck, some sun and a badger not spooked by its own shadow, the end of winter could be drawing near

The national meteorological institute DMI expects day temperatures to reach about five degrees by Tuesday and rise to seven degrees by mid-week if the sun graces us with its presence.

“It’s going to feel like spring is upon us next week because the weather prognosis doesn’t include much wind,” Jesper Eriksen, a meteorologist at DMI, said.

The frigid polar wind currently currently causing shivers throughout the country is set to be replaced by a high pressure front coming down from the British Isles early next week, bringing with it warmer temperatures.

“The high pressure weather will stabilise the weather in Denmark and Monday will offer some light winds from the east and northeast, which then will dissipate.” Eriksen said.

But Eriksen maintained that the spring feeling will depend heavily on whether the sun can manage to beam its warm rays through the cloud cover, something that may not happen.

“Unfortunately, high pressure weather during the winter is no guarantee for sunshine. Often, a potentially sunny day is ruined by low cloud cover, mists and fog,” Eriksen said on DMI’s website. “It will probably be our interpretation of the weather that will make the difference. Five degrees Celsius can feel fantastic in sunshine, or grey and dour with clouds.”

If you're a superstitious person yearning for spring, you'll be hoping that this fellow wasn't freaking out over his own shadow on Feb 2 (Photo: Colourbox)Despite the weather possibly reaching highs of seven degrees next week, temperatures need to rise slightly more before spring can officially be welcomed. Spring weather is declared present when pre-noon temperatures follow the hour hand on the clock – i.e. temperatures must be at least nine degrees at 9am and a minimum of 12 degrees at noon.

Another, perhaps slightly less scientific, method one can use to help predict an early spring is to look to the Danish version of ‘Groundhog Day’.

Since early times, the badger has been the animal to watch in Denmark for signs of an early spring, according to Ib Askholm’s ‘Den gamle danske Vejrbog’ (The Old Danish Weather Book).

“People say that the badger leaves its den on February 2 and when it does, there must not be any sunshine because the animal becomes so afraid of its own shadow that it flees back to its den where it remains a further seven weeks,” Askholm's book explains

In other words, if the sun was shinning on February 2, winter will last until the middle of April. According to that logic, winter looks finished in Bornholm, where the sun didn’t shine on February 2, but it could last a while longer in Aarhus, where the sun shone for close to 7.5 hours.

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