Groundhog Day 2021: Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, predicts six more weeks of winter

That is, if you like to get your weather prediction from a groundhog in Pennsylvania.

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow Tuesday morning and, as legend holds, that means six additional weeks of heavy coats and mittens.

Phil was awakened at 7:25 a.m. and made his prediction in front of about 16 members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club at Gobbler’s Knob.

“Now, when I turn to see, there’s a perfect shadow cast of me. Six more weeks of winter there will be,” one of Phil’s handlers announced on his behalf at the ceremony.

The celebration, which is over a century old, looked a little different this year. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, there were no crowds in attendance or guests present. It was streamed live.
Groundhog Club handler A.J. Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, as Vice President Tom Dunkel reads the scroll during the 135th celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney.

He’s been at this for a while

The first Punxsutawney Groundhog Day celebration was recorded in 1886, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s website.

Phil is not new to the forecasting game. The ceremony has been going on since 1887.

Scientifically speaking, winter will officially come to an end on the equinox on March 20, regardless of what Phil predicts. But Mother Nature doesn’t always follow the timetable.

In fact, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota actually have their snowiest time of year after Groundhog Day.

He’s not very good at it

For the last two years in a row Phil has not seen his shadow, predicting an early spring.

In the past Phil has been way more likely to see his shadow than not. He has reportedly seen his shadow 104 times, but not seen his shadow only 20 times. Statistically speaking, Phil has been correct in his forecasts about 50% of the time in the last 10 years.

Phil is not alone in his prognosticating skills. In fact there are many others like him.

He’s got competition

States like Ohio, North Carolina, New York, Georgia, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Illinois, Maryland, West Virginia, and Michigan all have their own groundhog to use for predictions.

There’s also Unadilla Bill from Nebraska who boasts one of the highest accuracy ratings in the prediction business.

This means that if you don’t like Phil’s forecast, chances are one of the other groundhogs will predict something you do like.

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar contributed to this report.

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Written by bourbiza

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