Punxsutawney Phil says 6 more weeks of winter: We’re not buying it


Bill Murray in ‘Groundhog Day’ (1993)
Columbia Pictures

      In case you haven’t heard, Punxsutawney Phil—the infamous furry, four legged weatherman—saw his shadow this morning, continuing an age-old Pennsylvanian tradition beloved by so many Americans.  Phil burrowed back into his groundhog hole today, predicting 6 more weeks of winter weather for all.  Don’t get me wrong, we love the tradition- but how accurate have groundhogs’ forecasts been over the past 100 or so years?

While the Phil’s caretaker claims that he’s been 100% accurate 100% of the time, according to Stormfax Almanac, our furry friend has only been correct 39% of the time (he sees his shadow 85% of the time).  Weather Underground Meteorologist Tim Roche broke down the stats for LiveScience saying

“If Punxsutawney Phil is right 39 percent of the time, that’s much, much worse than a climatological prediction. Even if you flip a coin, you’ll still be right close to half of the time that’s a 50 percent accuracy rate. So you’ll be better off flipping a coin than going by the groundhog’s predictions.”

That said, we’re not buying into Phil’s predictions for this year, no matter how cute he may be. While AccuWeather forecasts snow and cold temperatures to persist in the month of February, The Farmer’s Almanac among others predict a mild remainder to winter, normal spring temperatures and a warm late-spring. We’ll continue to keep an eye out as spring forecasts begin to surface in early March.  In the meantime, while Phil will be keeping warm underground, we’ll be hoping for good weather and hard at work preparing for the coming season!

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