Groundhog Day: How accurate is Punxsutawney Phil?

Groundhog handler Bill Deeley and Punxsutawney,Phi

Friday is Groundhog Day, and Punxsutawney Phil will venture out of his burrow at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. There are over 30 groundhogs around town featuring different themes.

For most of the year, Phil is mainly a local attraction.

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.

Now that I'm more in the ballpark of the age Ramis was when he made "Groundhog Day" and carrying my own lengthy string of regrets and failures behind me, however, I am far more deeply dazzled by it.

In the more than 130 years of groundhog forecasting in Punxsutawney, there have been 103 shadows (which means six more week of winter) and 18 no shadows (which means early spring).

However unreliable this weather forecast is, Groundhog Day is a beloved tradition that is not going away anytime soon.


According to the National Centers for Environmental Information, the history of Groundhog Day can be traced back to an early Christian celebration of the halfway point between the winter solstice and spring equinox.

Punxsutawney, Penn. - Will the world's most famous groundhog, "Punxsutawney Phil", see his shadow or will we have six-more-weeks of winter?

"As we consider him, he is the king of the animal kingdom", Dereume says.

But, whether or not Phil sees his shadow, it's hard to trust his prediction. But how does one define when spring arrived? But what's in it?

"It's a secret that's been passed down from handler to handler for generations", he claims.

FIRST EVER GROUNDHOG DAY DATE: The first ever Groundhog Day took place on February 2, 1887. They help Phil mount onto his tree stump and then the Inner Circle president whispers to the groundhog. The official coverage of this begins at 6 a.m. ET and the live stream runs until 7 a.m. ET. Get all the details on what time to watch the announcement, predictions and more below.

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