Punxsutawney Phil Makes His Prediction

It's Groundhog Day, again
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2024 6:47 AM CST
Punxsutawney Phil Predicts Early Spring
Groundhog Club handler A.J. Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the 138th celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Friday, Feb. 2, 2024.   (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)

It's Groundhog Day—again—and Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early spring. The country's most famous groundhog emerged from his den Friday and did not see his shadow, Axios reports. Thousands of people gathered at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, for a tradition that has been going since 1887, USA Today reports. "Punxsutawney is the center of the universe right now and I love that you're all here," Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro told the crowd. Legend holds that there will be six more weeks of winter weather if Phil sees his shadow and an early spring if he doesn't, though records show that the groundhog-based prediction is wrong more often than it's right.

"I will say, Phil is struggling with accuracy. He comes in at 39%," says meteorologist Britta Merwin at Fox Weather. Around 85% of Phil's predictions have been for a longer winter. "He is clearly a big wintertime proponent, but that's probably because he's a hibernating rodent," Kasha Patel writes at the Washington Post. Patel notes that the National Weather Service, which does not rely on rodents, predicts above average temperatures in the northern US in the weeks to come. It's a toss-up in most of the rest of the country apart from southwest Texas, where temperatures below average are expected.

While Phil is the best-known weather-predicting groundhog, largely thanks to 1993's Groundhog Day movie, there's more than a dozen other groundhog clubs in Pennsylvania alone, with many more in 28 US states and Canadian provinces, the AP reports. Staten Island Chuck, whose predictions have been correct for 14 years in a row, didn't see his shadow Friday, suggesting New York City will have an early spring, the New York Post reports. (More groundhog day stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.