Six More Weeks of Winter Says Phil

By the edhat staff

Per American tradition, a groundhog saw its shadow Thursday morning indicating six more weeks of winter.

The longstanding Groundhog Day ceremony is held annually at Punxsutawney in western Pennsylvania, and the groundhog is named Punxsutawney Phil. The outdoor event can be viewed below:

Punxsutawney Phil woke up at 7:25 a.m. ET in frigid 20-degree weather and spotted his own shadow in front of members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club at Gobbler’s Knob.

According to records dating back to 1887, Phil has predicted winter more than 100 times, but that’s only been 39% of the time, according to the Stormfax Weather Almanac. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information found from 2012-21, Phil was only right 40% of the time

The event is based on a Pennsylvania-Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerges from its burrow on February 2nd and sees its shadow due to clear weather, it will retreat to its den and winter will persist for six more weeks. However, if it does not see its shadow because of cloudiness, spring will arrive early.

While this tradition remains popular in America and single-handedly keeps top hats in fashion, studies have found no consistent correlation between a groundhog seeing its shadow and the subsequent arrival time of spring-like weather. But it’s fun and we like it. 

Edhat Staff

Written by Edhat Staff

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