How accurate is Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day?

Believe it or not, there are historical stats that judge his stats

Groundhog Club handler A.J. Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the 135th celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger) (Barry Reeger, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

So, how well do you believe Punxsutawney Phil’s ability to judge whether there will be an early spring?

After the event was held virtually last year due to the pandemic, thousands of tourists around the country will descend on Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on Wednesday for the annual Groundhog Day celebration.

Of course, the signature moment of the party is whether Phil will see his shadow or not.

If the groundhog sees its shadow, it means six weeks of winter. If it doesn’t, it means we’ll have an early spring.

The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club actually has historical data on ceremonies that have taken place since 1887, on its website.

Last year, Punxsutawney Phil saw its shadow, although for many states in the Midwest, it seemed like winter lasted longer than an additional six weeks with some chilly days in March, April and early May.

The key data on how often the groundhog has seen its shadow and how accurate its forecasts turn out to be are shown in the graphic below.


About the Author:

Keith is a member of Graham Media Group's Digital Content Team, which produces content for all the company's news websites.