Bye Bye Winter? Punxsutawney Phil Predicts an Early Spring on Groundhog Day

But if there are cloudy skies when the groundhog comes above ground then the spring season will arrive early.

Phil has predicted six more weeks of winter weather 104 times while forecasting an early spring just 19 times in the 133-year history of Groundhog Day.

So did the groundhog see his shadow?

How accurate has the groundhog been?

In addition, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has officially stated that Punxsutawney Phil has "no predictive skill". Since 1887, Phil's winter prognostication has only been correct 39 percent of the time, according to Stormfax Almanac's data.

It was welcome news all over the country, as a polar vortex brought record-low temperatures to parts of the Midwest this week, and made for freezing temperatures elsewhere as well. The groundhog did not see his shadow this morning in Pennsylvania.

The origins of Groundhog Day date back to the early days of Christianity in Europe, according to the Pennsylvania Tourism Office. On that day, superstition held that if it were sunny and clear, a long winter was expected. There is a bit of a thaw ahead in the US, according to the Weather Channel, but more freezing temperatures loom in the coming weeks as well, and it seems like winter is far from over.

Members of the club, along with news reporters and local people gather at Gobbler's Knob each year to wait for Phil to appear and make his weather prediction.

'If I were you I'd go out and buy swimsuits, ' he told the crowd after waking up Phil just after 7.27am.

The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club hosts the main Groundhog Day event in the town. The president of this group is the individual who gets the privilege of hearing Phil's prediction in "Groundhogese" and translating it for the public.

  • Rogelio Becker