The mainstream furry foreteller of the weather, Punxsutawney Phil, will poke his head out Friday and if he sees his shadow, we may be in for more of that snowmaggedon weather, as the legend goes. That's in spite of forecasts that predicted a cloudy, shadow-less morning.
- Groundhog Day is on February 2nd each year and is a day when people gather in various towns across the country to see if a rodent sees it's shadow. At the Groundhog Day celebration, Phil's official handler, a member of this tuxedo-and-top-hat-wearing group, pulls the oversized squirrel from his stump and lifts him above the packed crowd. But he's always popular.
DeNu has said he translates Potomac Phil's predictions for spring weather. "How he managed to see his shadow with clouds blocking the sun is a bit of a mystery", said Capital Weather Gang's Jason Samenow. But if it does, folklore says it means another six weeks of winter.
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Phil has been correct about 65 percent of the time based on 117 years of available records, according to Penn Live.
On the other hand, our weather team says there's a good chance spring will come early to Texas this year, with above-normal temperatures in the forecast from February through April. Unless you happen to be the president of the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club - and holding the special ancient acacia wood cane.
The groundhog's prediction is typically contained in a short poem. It gets pretty weird.
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In the movie, which grossed $70 million, Bill Murray plays a cynical weatherman who is sent to Pennsylvania to report on Groundhog Day for the fourth year in a row. The original Milltown Mell died in 2015, but his companion took on the same name and the town keeps the tradition alive. During this day, the groundhog Punxsutawny Phil emerges from his burrow to predict what the weather will be like for the rest of winter. Since 1988, the groundhog was "right" 14 times and "wrong" 16 times. "I look at his facial expression, posture and intensity, the glare and gaze in his eyes", he said. Would winter last six more weeks, or would there be a reprieve?
In February, most states across the continental United States were warmer than average, with 16 states having record warmth.
Interestingly enough, out of all his predictions since 1887, Phil has only seen his shadow 18 times.
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