The Groundhogs Have Spoken

The consensus: 6 more weeks of winter, unfortunately
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2023 8:04 AM CST
The Groundhogs Have Spoken
Groundhog Club handler AJ Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, while talking with WTAJ Meteorologist Joe Murgo during the 137th celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023.   (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

We're in for six more weeks of winter if you're one to believe Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary. And yes, that is the groundhog's full title. Members of Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Groundhog Club who gathered at Phil's home of Gobbler’s Knob say the famous groundhog saw his shadow as he emerged from his burrow around dawn Thursday, which equates to a prediction of six more weeks of winter, rather than an early spring. That's the third year in a row that Phil has made such a prediction, per CBS News.

It seems fitting as the Northeast is bracing for an Arctic blast and the South is being walloped by a brutal winter storm. Then again, "on average, Phil has gotten it right 40% of the time over the past 10 years," according to the National Centers for Environmental Information, a division of NOAA, per CNN. While the same prediction was made by Ohio's Buckeye Chuck, Wisconsin's Jimmy, and Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam, another whiskered weatherman, Staten Island Chuck, predicted an early spring Thursday for the eighth year in a row, reports the New York Daily News. That sentiment was echoed by Ontario's Wiarton Willie.

Though Staten Island Chuck is the outlier for now—predictions from other weather prognosticating groundhogs including Massachusetts' Ms. G is still to come Thursday—officials at the Staten Island Zoo where Chuck resides boast of his 80% accuracy rate—the highest in the country, per the Daily News. For your information, the Climate Prediction Center expects above normal temperatures across the eastern and southern US over the next three months, but below normal temperatures for the northwestern US, per CNN. (More groundhog day stories.)

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