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Members that the Groundhog Club’s “Inner Circle” ~ above February 2, 2013, in ~ Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Photo via Anthony Quintano/ Wikimedia Commons.

You are watching: How accurate is the groundhog prediction

Happy Groundhog Day! Every February 2, the pressure is on because that Phil, the celebrity groundhog indigenous Punxsutawney in west Pennsylvania, come predict the weather because that the following six weeks. Follow to local tradition, if Phil emerged from his burrow on a clean day and saw his shadow, he would retreat back into his hole v this verdict: six much more weeks the winter weather. However if it’s cloudy and also he go not see his shadow, we should expect very early spring. But how plenty of times has Phil been right? turns out his track document for weather prediction isn’t 100% … or even 50%.

Since 1887, Phil and also his predecessors have actually seen your shadow 104 times, and not seen it only 19 times. According to the Stormfax Almanac, which has been tracking Phil’s predictions due to the fact that 1887, Phil has been correct only 39% that the time. Follow to the national Oceanic and also Atmospheric Administration, which analyzed Phil’s predictions indigenous 2008 come 2018, he was right only 40% of the time. The human being who take care of Phil, members that the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s within Circle, however, firmly insist that Phil’s predictions are 100% accurate.

The first known document of Groundhog Day was in a local document in 1886 in Punxsutawney. For most years due to the fact that then, Phil and also previous incarnations of the have actively participated in this February 2 ritual. If Punxsutawney has actually the largest groundhog celebration in phibìc America, some other towns, together as sun Prairie, Wisconsin, have produced their very own Groundhog work traditions.

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A groundhog in ~ Shenandoah nationwide Park. Picture via Shenandoah national Park/ Flickr.

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Groundhog work traditions have their root in Candlemas Day, an occasion that wake up halfway in between the winter solstice and also spring equinox. The was thought that clear weather top top that divine day foreboded a much longer winter season. Clergy would certainly bless candles, sharing them with civilization who climate lit those candles in their homes. Among German adherents in Europe, a badger was claimed to be the pet weather forecaster: if it saw its shadow, there would be six an ext weeks of wintry weather. Because that German immigrant to the U.S., the weather forecasting honors fell to an additional hibernating creature, the groundhog.

Currently, Phil and also several other groundhogs live in climate-controlled accommodations at the Punxsutawney Library. Each year, because that the February 2 festivities, Phil is relocated come a boil burrow in ~ Gobbler’s Knob, the website of his yearly announcement. There, in prior of an audience of number of thousands, the awareness is presided end by the Groundhog Club’s within Circle. They are regional dignitaries, elegantly pull in black color suits, bowties, and also top hats, who likewise take treatment of the town’s celebrity groundhogs.

When it’s showtime, roughly 7:25 a.m., Phil is pulled the end of his burrow underneath a fake tree stump. That delivers his weather prediction in a secret language (“groundhogese”) to the president of the within Circle, who then expose it to the crowd. The inside Circle’s vice-president unfurls a scroll to announcement Phil’s weather prediction.

Check the end this video clip of Punxsutawney Phil’s 2019 Groundhog job prediction.

Bottom line: Groundhog day is commemorated on February 2. Follow to tradition, if a groundhog watch its shadow, there will certainly be six an ext weeks the winter, when no groundhog shadow means early spring. The ideal known weather-forecasting groundhog is Punxsutawney Phil. Outside organizations (Stormfax Almanac, NOAA) have actually tracked Phil to it is in correct only 39-40% that the time.