PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. — It’s a question we ask every February 2: Will it be an early spring or six more weeks of winter? It’s a Groundhog Day tradition dating back to the 1880s as Punxsutawney Phil makes his annual weather prediction at Gobbler's Knob in Pennsylvania.
Although there's absolutely nothing scientific about the furry forecaster's prognostication, legend has it that we will have six more weeks of winter if the groundhog sees his shadow. No shadow? That's supposed to signify an early spring.
So what happened this year? When Phil was pulled from his iconic stump early Thursday morning, he saw his shadow. That means he's calling for six more weeks of winter once again.
You can watch the full 2023 Groundhog Day prediction in the video below:
While the hope of an early spring seems to be the primary excitement behind the Groundhog Day traditions, it turns out that Punxsutawney Phil has only made that prediction (not seeing his shadow) less than two dozen times.
So how many times has Punxsutawney Phil seen his shadow? How many times has he predicted an early spring? Here are the numbers as announced by the Groundhog Day "Inner Circle"...
- Saw shadow: 109 times (including 2023)
- No shadow: 20 times
- No record of what happened: 10 times
The last time Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow was in 2019 and 2020, offering a back-to-back dose of his rare early spring prediction.
While the Groundhog Day celebration brings thousands of early risers to Gobbler's Knob to witness the event, that wasn't the case in 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns. Instead, organizers hosted a virtual Groundhog Day event with no in-person attendance permitted.
Oh, and if you want a bit more to make you smile for Groundhog Day, we'll just leave you with this... Because it's Groundhog Day again.