Science

Groundhog doesn't see his shadow, predicting early spring

Groundhog doesn't see his shadow, predicting early spring

The news came in at around 7:30 this morning, when the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club aroused the prognosticating groundhog from his slumber inside the ceremonial hovel on Gobbler's Knob.

For the last two years, Phil has got his predictions wrong.

But where did this freakish tradition come from?

Luckily, Punxsutawney Phil is about to tell us if spring will be coming early or if we'll have to endure six more weeks of winter.

Punxsutawney Phil greeted festival-goers with some good news on Saturday morning when the world's most famous groundhog predicted an early Spring after not seeing his shadow.

The tradition of looking to a small animal to predict the weather began with German immigrants concentrated in Pennsylvania who used a hedgehog - not a groundhog. This is a rare "prediction" considering Phil sees his shadow about 80% of the time.




If he sees his shadow, he'll run back into the burrow, which means winter will be sticking around for another month and a half, but if he doesn't, he'll remain outside, signaling that spring is on the horizon!

Hollywood loves few things more than belated sequels and reboots, but they haven't gotten around to making another Groundhog Day. On that day, superstition held that if it were sunny and clear, a long winter was expected.

These Pennsylvanian groundhogs enjoyed quiet lives until 1887, when a groundhog-hunting newspaper editor declared that Punxsutawney's groundhog Phil was the nation's only "true" weather-forecasting groundhog.

Historically, they also ate groundhog meat, but this practice has since died out.

Not to dash spring-lovers dreams - Punxsuatawney Phil's accuracy is only around 39% to 40% over the past 133 years.