How pinpoint accurate is Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast?

He’s only been correct 4 times in the past decade

Groundhog Club handler A.J. Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the 137th celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. Phil's handlers said that the groundhog has forecast six more weeks of winter. (AP Photo/Barry Reeger) (Barry Reeger, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – We all know that predicting the weather is not a perfect science, but it is certainly better than trusting a rodent for your pinpoint-accurate weather forecasts.

No matter how good or bad his forecasts have been, Punxsutawney Phil continues to stick with the tradition every February 2.

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On a gloomy and snowy morning at Gobbler’s Knob in Pennsylvania, the furry 20-pound groundhog emerged and saw his shadow again this year — which according to folklore, it means there will be six more weeks of winter.

Whether that prediction comes to fruition or not is too early to tell, but according to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, Punxsutawney Phil’s precision could be better.

Groundhog Day 2023

Phil’s predictions date back to 1887. Since then he has predicted 20 early springs, 106 more winters, and 10 times with no official record.

Over the past decade, when comparing his forecast to the final U.S. national temperature, Phil has been right only 40% of the time.

Looking at the past decade, for Central Floridians, Phil’s grade point average was the exact same for predicting our “change of seasons.” He guessed correctly 40% of the time with those years being 2020, 2019, 2016, and 2014.

But can we just give poor Phil a bit of a break?

Predicting the arrival of spring, months in advance, for an entire country that has such varied regional climates, is no easy task.

I tip my top hat to this cute little critter for showing up every year with a smile on his face and keeping with a national tradition.

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About the Author:

Candace joined the News 6 team as the weekend morning meteorologist and reporter. She comes to Central Florida from Miami.