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Just how accurate is Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day?

Punxsutawney Phil, Ron Ploucha
Posted at 10:30 AM, Feb 01, 2023

Fans of winter will be rooting for Punxsutawney Phil to crawl out of his burrow early Thursday morning on Groundhog Day to see his shadow, indicating that winter will continue on for another six weeks.

But how accurate is he, and will Phil seeing his shadow mean winter's wrath will continue?

According to Storm Fax, Phil has seen his shadow for the last two years. Last year, the East Coast saw warmer-than-expected conditions in the weeks following, while the central U.S. was a little cooler than average, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data.

The year before, the east and west coasts had relatively normal temperatures while the central U.S. had much colder than average temperatures.

In 2020, the last time Phil predicted an early spring, much of the U.S. had warmer than usual temperatures in February, especially in the mid-Atlantic.

Records show Phil has seen his shadow 107 times compared to 20 times he has not.

But other groundhogs claim to have superior forecasting abilities.

According to a report by the Staten Island Advance, Staten Island Chuck has been more accurate. The newspaper claims that Chuck has been accurate 80 percent of the time since 1992.

But those in Pennsylvania say that Punxsutawney Phil, who they claim is 136 years old, is the only groundhog capable of weather forecasting, and all others are "imposters.”