Punxsutawney, PA

Groundhog Day: Here's What Punxsutawney Phil Predicts This Year

Melissa Frost

Photo byPhoto by Ralph Katieb on Unsplash

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow early this morning.

Now, any other day, that doesn't mean a thing. But on Groundhog Day, it means Phil just predicted that we are in for six more weeks of winter.

Far from over

Not great news when you take a look at the weather forecast. It's cold, and far from over, should we believe famous Phil. As every year, the media, politicians and locals were gathering by Phil's home in Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to see if the beloved groundhog saw his shadow.

According to his official handlers (yes, of course he has official handlers - he's Phil!) in the Groundhog Club, he did.

Although promoters (his handlers) of local festivities surrounding the groundhog claim that the animals have never been wrong, an examination of the records indicates a correlation of less than 40 percent.

In other words, believe what you will.

The background

As the small town states, they are home to approximately 6,200 residents and one famous groundhog.

Punxsutawney, which name derives from the Native American word for sand flies, a gnat-like insect that was abundant in the area, is quite popular every year on this date - February 2. The small town is located about 90 miles northeast of Pittsburgh and 100 miles south of Erie, in Jefferson County.

Since 1887, a local groundhog has been the main character of a staged appearance each year. The groundhog is also on social media, currently with over 12,000 followers on Instagram, where he (probably his handlers) posts frequently. There's also a fan club. Over 50,000 posts tagged #punxsutawneyphil. And, quite a few #punxsutawneyphilwaswrong.

I'm kind of hoping he's wrong this year.

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Melissa is a journalist and content writer. She covers food, travel and local news, mostly from PA.

Lititz, PA

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