It’s that time of year, when the fate of the nation’s weather outlook rests on not whether a woodchuck could chuck wood, but if a woodchuck can cast a silhouette.
Every Feb. 2, the world’s most famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil rises from its burrow in Pennsylvania for Groundhog Day to give the prediction on what type of weather the U.S. could expect to see in the coming weeks.
- If Phil sees his shadow, he predicts six more weeks of winter.
- If Phil doesn’t see his shadow, he predicts an early spring.
The tradition of weather predicting dates back over 130 years ago, but for something that has lasted since the 19th century, how often is the famed groundhog right?
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How often is Punxsutawney Phil right?
Sadly, the groundhog is often wrong when it comes to his predictions.
Since making his first prediction in 1887, Punxsutawney Phil has been right 39% of the time, according to the Stormfax Weather Almanac.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Centers for Environmental Information looked at the most recent predictions and found from 2012-21, Phil was right 40% of the time when comparing the national temperature averages.
“Predicting the arrival of springtime for an entire country, especially one with such varied regional climates as the United States, isn’t easy,” the center said. “Phil’s track record is evidence of that.”
How many times has he predicted a longer winter or early spring?
Since 1887, Punxsutawney Phil has predicted the weather outlook 126 times, as there have been only 10 instances where it was not recorded or he did not appear.
He has seen his shadow the most, as he has predicted a longer winter 106 (84%) times. Here’s are all of his results since 1887:
- Saw shadow (six more weeks of winter): 106
- No shadow (early spring): 29
- Partial shadow: 1
- No record: 10
- Did not appear: 1
Punxsutawney Phil’s recent predictions and Groundhog Day results
Here are the past 10 predictions made by Punxsutawney Phil:
- 2013: No Shadow
- 2014: Shadow
- 2015: Shadow
- 2016: No Shadow
- 2017: Shadow
- 2018: Shadow
- 2019: No Shadow
- 2020: No Shadow
- 2021: Shadow
- 2022: Shadow
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.