It’s Groundhog Day! Thousands descended onto the streets of the small Pennsylvania community called Punxsutawney and headed to Gobbler's Knob to get a glimpse of the world’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil and to hear his prognostication for winter. Phil did not see his shadow, so it's "An early spring for you and me"
Organizers expected 20,000 people today, more than the usual crowd because Groundhog Day fell on a Saturday. No official count yet, but no one’s complaining as this annual winter-weather celebration beefs up the area’s economy.
As legend goes, if the groundhog sees his shadow, winter will last for six more weeks. If he doesn’t see his shadow, then it’s an early spring. Which would you prefer: more winter or an early spring?
And how often is this little rascal, er-rodent, correct? Data from Stormfax Almanac showed that Punxsutawney Phil's six-week prognostications have been correct 39 percent of the time, and more often than not, Phil sees his shadow.
Punxsutawney Phil with his Handler
According to records, the various incarnations of Punxsutawney Phil have predicted 99 forecasts for six more weeks of winter and only 15 for an early spring. After today, that number will climb to 16.
The outlook in the Farmer's Almanac seems to agree with Phil in much of the country, but not in our area where two major storms are predicted on the east coast: one on February 15th and another in March. Take a look at this Farmer's Almanac map: