The world's most famous weather-predicting groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, has made his forecast. After not seeing his shadow, Phil is predicting an early spring! But how accurate is a forecast from a groundhog?
Every year on Feb. 2, thousands of people gather in Punxsutawney, Penn., to watch Phil emerge from his burrow at Gobbler's Knob. So how does Phil "predict" the weather? If he sees his shadow, six more weeks of winter are predicted. If he doesn't see his shadow, then spring will be off to an early start. This morning, the WeatherRadar showed chilly but cloudy conditions in Gobbler's Knob.
Thursday at 7:25 a.m. EST, Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow, and the prediction is for an early spring. This event has been ongoing since 1877, and in that time, Phil has seen his shadow more than 100 times, thus predicting more winter. Phil has only predicted an early spring 20 times, the last time being in 2020. So this makes for 21 times!
The tradition of Groundhog Day is thought to have been brought to Pennsylvania by German settlers. Groundhog Day may have evolved from a German celebration called Candlemas. During Candlemas, if the sun made an appearance on a mid-winter day and a hedgehog cast a shadow, then there would be six more weeks of winter.