Groundhog says six extra weeks of winter. Don't fear: He's often flawed

Katrina Barker
February 2, 2018

However, Chuck has been right 80 per cent of the time, while Phil's accuracy is much lower at 40 per cent. At least that's what Punxsutawney Phil predicted at 7:20am EST this morning when he crawled out of his burrow in Pennsylvania and spotted his shadow.

Today is Groundhog Day, which, to most Americans, doesn't mean what it used to.

It comes from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerging from it's burrow on the day sees a shadow due to clear weather, it will return to its den and winter will last for six more weeks.

According to folklore, if the weather is cloudy when the groundhog emerges out of its den then spring will come early.

Friday's prediction was the 132nd from Phil, who surprisingly doesn't look a day over five.

Mayor de Blasio famously dropped the Staten Island groundhog during the 2014 ceremony, and it died weeks later.

Sir Walter Wally in Raleigh, North Carolina was correct in 68 percent of his region when he did not see his shadow past year.

Since the beginning, Phil has predicted more winter 103 times and 17 early starts to spring.

Besides his age, his weather predicting skills and the fact that he's probably the only groundhog who lives in a library, Punxsutawney Phil is special for another reason.

Since 1886, the world's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, has been providing predictions about winter from his lair in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

Groundhog Day predictions put Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on the map because every February 2 the town's namesake groundhog emerges from his burrow to make his scheduled appearance. If not, we're in for an early spring.

Groundhog Day - specifically February 2 - traces its roots back to an ancient celebration of the midway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Phil sees his shadow about 85 percent of the time. Eastern Time. Spectators, seemingly unfazed by the bitter cold, watched and danced to music as the handlers announced Phil's prediction. But when they moved to Pennsylvania, they found another creature to take its place. They brought with them the legend of Candlemas Day, which states "For as the sun shines on Candlemas day, so far will the snow swirl in May.".

Others tend to hold their breath in hopes a TV weatherman, played by Bill Murray, figures out how to break out of the cycle of reliving the same day over and over.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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