Groundhog Day: Six More Weeks of Winter or an Early Spring?


It’s official! Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow, six more weeks of winter!

Tomorrow, Feb 2nd is Groundhog Day. It’s not an official holiday, but it’s celebrated nonetheless. Punxsutawney, PA has become the center point of the celebration as everyone waits to see if the famous groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow or not.

If Phil sees his shadow and returns to his burrow, legend says we are in store for six more weeks of winter. But, if he doesn’t see his shadow, spring is on the way.

According to, Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, is expected to be mostly cloudy on Wednesday morning which would make it favorable for the famous groundhog not to see his shadow.

In 2021, the event was closed to the public, this year Gobbler’s Knob will be open to the public. Watch the live stream event here.

If you would like a personal message from Punxsutawney Phil, he’s now on Cameo. For $150 you can celebrate a special day with a  message, happy birthday, or just a hello. Find it here. 

Where does this tradition come from?

As explained by

The Christian religious holiday of Candlemas Day has become most commonly associated with the current celebration, but its roots are older than that. The celebration started in Christianity as the day, (February 2nd) when Christians would take their candles to the church to have them blessed. This, they felt, would bring blessings to their household for the remaining winter.

As time rolled on the day evolved into another form. The following English folk song highlights the transition to weather prognostication.

If Candlemas be fair and bright,
Come, Winter, have another flight;
If Candlemas brings clouds and rain,
Go Winter, and come not again.

This “interpretation” of Candlemas Day became the norm for most of Europe. However, there is no mention of an animal of any kind in the preceding song. It wasn’t until this traditional belief was introduced to Germany that an animal was introduced into the lore, hence another evolution of February 2nd. If, according to German lore, the hedgehog saw his shadow on Candlemas Day there would be a “Second Winter” or 6 more weeks of bad weather. As German settlers came to what is now the United States, so too came their traditions and folklore. With the absence of hedgehogs in the United States, a similar hibernating animal was chosen. This leads us to yet another evolution in the legend and to present-day Punxsutawney.

The accuracy of Punxsutawney Phil? reports.

Overall, the groundhog is not very accurate, and NOAA said Punxsutawney Phil has “no predictive skill.

Based on data from 1887 to 2021, Punxsutawney Phil is more likely to see his shadow. Phil has seen his shadow 105 times, with no shadow 20 times (ten years of data is missing).

Phil saw his shadow again and declared six more weeks of winter in last year’s verdict. His prediction was then followed by the 19th coldest February on record in the Lower 48.

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