Did Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow? Will there be six more weeks of winter?
Early this morning in Globbler's Knob, Phil spotted his own shadow, meaning we can expect six more weeks of winter. That is, if you trust in the power of Punxsutawney Phil.
Phil sees his shadow about 85% of the time, so it isn't too shocking that he caught a glimpse of himself today. Had Phil not seen his own shadow, we would have been waiting for an early Spring arrival.
Phil made his prediction around 7:25 am this morning. It was a cloudy day, which makes the fact that he saw his own shadow all the more impressive. Thousands of Phil's fans made it to Punxsutawney to behold the spectacle.
The First Groundhog Day Was in 1887
Phil's first prediction was in 1887. Since then, he has seen his shadow 104 times. There have been only 18 times he has not seen his shadow, so the odds were certainly not in our favor when we woke up this morning to await Phil's prediction.
The story of Punxsutawney Phil dates back to the ancient tradition of Candlemas, according to History.com, where clergy would bless candles and distribute them for winter. These candles represented how long and cold winter would be. Germany then selected the hedgehog as a means of predicting the weather. In America, German settlers continued to carry out this tradition, switching from hedgehogs to groundhogs.
Phil is keeping up with the times. If you want to hear his prediction for yourself, you can text "Groundhog" to 247365.
For any groundhog fans out there, it may be helpful to know that the animal is also called a woodchuck, but its scientific name is Marmota monax. Groundhogs aren't too big, typically weighing 12 to 15 pounds, and have a life expectancy of just six to eight years. But how is that possible, since Phil has been making his predictions since the 1800s? According to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, Phil is given a secret "groundhog punch" recipe to drink. "One sip, which is administered every summer at the Groundhog Picnic, gives him seven more years of life," reports Fox. The Club claims that Punxsutawney Phil is 131 years old.