A Groundhog’s Prediction

February 7, 2019
Anthony Quintano [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Have you ever heard of Groundhog Day? It’s not a holiday as widely known as Christmas or Thanksgiving, and you surely won’t find schools and businesses closed to celebrate it, but it’s been around since 1887. Groundhog Day occurs every year on February 2nd, and it’s when a groundhog predicts how much longer the winter season is going to last. Yes, you heard that right—a groundhog that serves as a meteorologist for one special day out of the year. But it’s not just any groundhog—it’s a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil who lives in—where else—Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, of course! Legend has it that if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow and retreats back into his burrow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, there will be an early spring. Well, this year, Punxsutawney Phil’s handlers, otherwise known as his “inner circle,” shared that Mr. Phil predicted an early spring. Yay, right? Sure, but don’t put your winter coats away just yet—Mr. Phil isn’t very accurate. In fact, less than half of his predictions of an early spring actually come true.

Interesting Fact: Punxsutawney Phil has only predicted an early spring nineteen out of his one hundred and thirty-three predictions!