Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow – 6 more weeks of winter loom | Meteorology


Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Wednesday, which means if you believe in a groundhog’s ability to predict the weather, we’re six more weeks of winter away.

Phil and his friends at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, have been predicting the seasons since 1887, according to his website.

Although Phil doesn’t have a degree in meteorology, every year on February 2 the United States logs in for his prediction.

Legend has it that if Phil sees his shadow, there will still be six weeks of winter and if he doesn’t, spring will come sooner. In 2021, the groundhog has seen its shadow, calling for another six weeks of cold.

Turns out he was only half right, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which maintains “one of the largest archives of atmospheric, coastal, geophysics and oceans in the world”.

“The contiguous United States experienced below average temperatures in February and above average temperatures in March of last year. Phil was 50/50 on his forecast,” the NCEI said.

Phil’s background isn’t perfect, the agency noted. “On average, Phil has been successful 40% of the time over the past 10 years,” NCEI said.

Phil’s fans disagree. On its website, the “Extraordinary Weather Predictor” is said to be “100% accurate of the time”.


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