Happy Groundhog Day! Here's What Punxsutawney Phil Predicts For 2018

Ground Hog Day 2018: Will Punxsutawny Phil see his shadow? How accurate is Phil?

Legend has it if the furry rodent casts a shadow on February 2, Groundhog Day, expect six more weeks of winter-like weather.

Phil's forecast prediction of six more weeks of winter did not pan out when he saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter. Despite the claim that the groundhog has the ability to predict if spring will come early, many people question how accurate Phil's weather predictions are.

If he had not seen it, winter would have been toast, according to the 131-year-old tradition followed in Phil's town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. This year, the groundhog forecast six more weeks of winter. The Marion-based whistlepig called for an early spring from 2010 to 2015. Over the last 30 years, Phil has only been right 20% of the time - must be all that wild grass he's eating.

Groundhog Day dates back to 1887.

In case you are wondering, Phil is much more likely to see his shadow than not. At the Groundhog Day celebration, Phil's official handler, a member of this tuxedo-and-top-hat-wearing group, pulls the oversized squirrel from his stump and lifts him above the packed crowd.




Every year, if the rodent sees its shadow, then it will retreat back to its burrow and winter will continue, according to legend.

Folklore's most-famous prognosticating rodent has been weathering a slump, but the human meteorologists who spend their careers mud-wrestling with atmospheric chaos are offering no sympathy. So needless to say, Phil has some work to do in the accuracy department.

This will be Phil's 132nd year making his prediction - he's been able to live that long by drinking from the "elixir of life", of course.

The holiday stems from a German holiday known as Candlemas Day, which celebrated the ritual purification of Mary during the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox. Now thousands of people from across the country travel to the small town of Punxsutawney, located 84 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

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