Groundhog day is this Sunday, February 2, and the outlook is pretty grim. According to local weather forecasters it’s going to be cloudy on Sunday, which means there’s not a snowball’s chance that Punxsatawney Phil will see his shadow. And that means… fingers crossed… an EARLY SPRING!
According to the official Groundhog Day website, the folks in Punxsatawney held their first Groundhog Day in the early 1800’s. Since that time there has been only one Punxsatawney Phil – he’s the only true weather-forecasting groundhog, by the way – and he owes his longevity to a special, secret-recipe Groundhog Punch. One sip at the annual summertime Groundhog Picnic gives him seven more years of life.
Legend has it, if Phil sees his shadow when he emerges from his den, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring.
Officially, Phil’s predictions have been recorded 116 times, going as far back as the winter of 1887. According to Wikipedia, of these official, recorded predictions, Ol’ Phil’s only been right 39% of the time.
Phil generally rouses from his nap and makes his prediction around 7:25 am on February 2. If you’re interested and can’t make the trip to Punxsatawney, you can watch the proceedings via the live feed at the official Groundhog Day website.