Groundhog doesn't see his shadow, predicting early spring

Pablo Tucker
February 3, 2019

Groundhog Club co-handler John Griffiths, center, holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the 133rd celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa. Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. The groundhog will leave his burrow at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on February 2 for the annual Groundhog Day ceremony. But with the ever-present threat of climate change on the brain, reactions to Phil's verdict this year were pretty mixed.

Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow today, predicting an early spring. Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow this morning, meaning that spring is on its way. They did, however, find an abundance of groundhogs, and a new tradition was born.

Members of The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, known as the "inner circle", do not recognise Buckeye Chuck's predictions. He was not able to see his shadow. Since the first reported Groundhog Day results in 1886, Phil has predicted long winters 104 times and an early spring only 18 times (nine years went without records).

Mother Nature hadn't been all that kind to the region as Groundhog Day approached. Historically, his success rate is at around 40%. Chuck's accuracy is at a much more impressive 82%.

After the ceremony, people commonly have a meal and drink their own version of groundhog punch; a delightful mixture of vodka, milk, eggs, and orange juice.

While the exact calculations are disputed, IFC's Simon Gallagher estimates Bill Murray's character in the classic film "Groundhog Day" relived the day 12,403 days - that's 33 years and 358 days!

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