Punxsutawney Phil Predicts an Early Spring

Groundhog Club handler John Griffiths center holds Punxsutawney Phil the weather prognosticating groundhog during the 131st celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney

Lisa Gibson, center, and her daughters Josie, left, and AneGiguere of Pittsburgh, arrive early to celebrate the 133rd Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa. Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019.

NOAA has said that Punxsutawney Phil has "no predictive skill," and has been accurate 40 percent of the time.

Tradition suggests that means spring is coming early.

As the legend goes, if Phil wakes from his winter sleep and sees his shadow, he warns of six more weeks of bad weather and scampers back into his burrow.

Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania groundhog we let decide our seasons for us, is officially predicting an early spring.

But predicting the weather - that's my song.

But Punxsutawney Phil is arguably the most famous, as well as a supporting character in the popular Bill Murray comedy "Groundhog Day".

Mother Nature hadn't been all that kind to the region as Groundhog Day approached. However, some will hold to their winter wonders, as there's always a mixed bag of expectations for Phil on his big day.

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. They also whistle when searching for a female groundhog, giving the creatures the nickname of "whistle pigs".

Due to the fact that annual weather trends can vary across the USA each year, there are discrepancies between sources regarding Punxsutawney Phil's accuracy. according to Stormfax Almanac, Punxsutawney Phil boasts only a 39% success rate, whereas Accuweather puts it at around 80%. And Groundhog Day, the 1993 film, is such a wonderful, well-told story.

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