It’s official: spring is right around the corner
Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow in front of thousands of spectators Friday morning at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, part of the annual Groundhog Day tradition celebrated in the U.S. and Canada. That means, according to the legend, we’re in for an early spring.
This marks the first time since 2020 that Phil predicted an early spring, and the 21st time since records were kept.
If you look at the data, Punxsutawney Phil has a record of seeing his shadow more often than not. Prior to 2024, the groundhog had seen his shadow 107 times and not seen his shadow 20 times, according to the York Daily Record, part of the USA TODAY Network. There were a few years in the late 1800s where there was no record of his forecast, and 1943 was the only year he did not make an appearance.
While Punxsutawney Phil may be arguably the most famous groundhog around, he is not the only critter making a weather forecast today. There’s also Buckeye Chuck in Ohio, General Beauregard Lee in Georgia and Staten Island Chuck in New York, who all emerged from burrows Friday morning to predict either the continuing winter or coming spring.
Here’s what to know about Punxsutawney Phil.
How accurate is Punxsutawney Phil? His Groundhog Day predictions aren’t great, data shows.
What has Phil predicted in the past? See his full forecast record dating back to the 1800s
Why do we celebrate Groundhog Day?
Groundhog Day is celebrated every February 2, the same day as Candlemas, where some of the holiday’s traditions originate.
Candlemas was traditionally aligned with the anticipation of planting crops, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, and seeing sunshine on the day was said to indicate winter’s return.
In Europe, people traditionally looked to bears or badgers to look for the sign of returning winter or coming spring, but when German immigrants arrived in Pennsylvania, they instead used groundhogs to make the forecast instead.
What did Punxsutawney Phil say in 2023?
Last year, Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his burrow, saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter, a forecast in line with his predictions from the last two years.
Watch the 2024 Groundhog Day replay from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Did the groundhog see his shadow? Punxsutawney Phil’s 2024 forecast