PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. - Hold on to your coats because Friday is Groundhog Day – a beloved tradition for many as they wait to see how much longer winter will last.
As the legend goes, if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, the weather-forecasting groundhog predicts six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, it’s a forecast of an early spring.
Records kept by the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club show Phil had predicted 108 continued winters and only 20 early springs through 2023. According to the Stormfax Almanac, Phil has gotten it right only 39% of the time.
Phil's prognostication occurs in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, around 7:28 a.m. EST on Groundhog's Day. In 2023, Phil saw his shadow at 7:25 a.m., meaning six more weeks of winter, but that prediction did not hold true.
"Looking at the stats, there's only been a couple of years where we've had a no-shadow look for Phil," FOX Weather Meteorologist Britta Merwin said. "I will say, Phil is struggling with accuracy. He comes in at 39%."
If the FOX Forecast Center's "Shadow Cast" holds, Phil will not see his shadow, and spring will be closer than we think if the groundhog's prediction comes true.
PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA - FEBRUARY 02: Groundhog handler AJ Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil, who saw his shadow, predicting a late spring during the 137th annual Groundhog Day festivities on February 2, 2023 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael
If you don't take Phil's word, other so-called animal forecasters have popped up around the country, all with the same goal of answering the age-old question: When will winter end?
The tradition of using Phil to predict the weather has existed since the 1880s. The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club claims that their famous groundhog has been alive for so long because he drinks an "elixir of life," a secret recipe.
According to the club, Phil takes a sip of this magical elixir during the Groundhog Picnic every summer, which gives him an extra seven years of life.
This year will be the 138th year of the Groundhog Day celebration in Punxsutawney.
Make sure to tune in to FOX Weather on Friday morning for the Groundhog Day festivities, with FOX News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean reporting live from Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney.