To shadow, or not to shadow?
That is the question the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, asked Thursday morning, as Punxsutawney Phil made his annual weather prediction.
On Groundhog Day, the famous groundhog emerged from his burrow and saw his shadow, signaling that we will have six more weeks of winter in the U.S.
However, Phil has a less-than-perfect track record when it comes to predicting the weather.
Here’s what to know about Groundhog Day 2023:
Groundhog Day is every Feb. 2.
In 2022, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and predicted a longer winter. It was the 106th time he saw his shadow in 126 years he has made a prediction.
Since making his first prediction in 1887, Punxsutawney Phil has been right only 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.
However, the tradition of using rodents to predict the weather dates back much earlier and was brought to the U.S. by German immigrants. The Groundhog Day celebration was created by a newspaper editor in Punxsutawney named Clymer Freas, who was part of a groundhog hunting club called the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.
The “Punxsutawney Groundhog Club” was founded in 1886 by a group of groundhog hunters, one of whom was the editor of the town’s newspaper and quickly published a proclamation about its local weather prognosticating groundhog (though Phil didn’t get his name until 1961).
The famous Punxsutawney Phil made his prediction around 7:20 a.m. in Pennsylvania. Organizers say he saw his shadow, meaning we’re in for six more weeks of winter.
Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog emerged from his burrow on a cold Thursday morning and saw his shadow, declaring there would be six more weeks of winter.