That is where a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil is roused from a stump on Gobbler’s Knob each year. Legend has it that if the large rodent sees his shadow, six more weeks of winter weather are ahead. If not, spring will arrive early.
The animal prognosticator has been at it since the 1880s. Records kept by the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club show Phil has predicted 108 continued winters and only 21 early springs as of 2024. According to the Stormfax Almanac, that works out to a 39% accuracy rate for Phil.
In the near term, the groundhog’s accuracy rate is slightly worse. According to the NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, Phil has been right about 30% of the time over the past decade.
Groundhog handler AJ Derume and Punxsutawney Phil, who saw his shadow, predicting a late spring during the 137th annual Groundhog Day festivities on February 2, 2023 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Groundhog Day is a popular tradition in the United St
In 2021, Phil predicted more winter. According to NOAA, his forecast was about half right. February 2021 was the coldest since 1989, but March turned out to be warmer than average.
Phil saw his shadow again in 2022, which meant another prediction of a continued winter. NOAA experts said he again missed the mark. While February was slightly colder than average, March's temperatures were much warmer than average.
Phil's prediction of another long winter in 2023 was half-correct, according to NOAA. The contiguous U.S. experienced above-average temperatures in February, but slightly below-average temperatures in March.