Weather Forecasters Are Already Trying to Steal Punxsutawney Phil's Thunder on Groundhog Day

Tomorrow, February 2, is Groundhog Day, which will determine if we are putting away our heavy coats and boots and bringing out our light spring jackets and umbrellas, or making sure we have ice melt on hand and a whole lot more crockpot recipes.

Weather forecasters, not content to leave the anticipation to Punxsutawney Phil's shadow revelation tomorrow, are preemptively vying to predict the outcome of the beloved annual tradition. Will it be a shadow or no shadow stealing the spotlight this year? If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, we are in for six more weeks of a frosty winter. If he doesn't, we can start digging out our short sleeve shirts.

This year will be the 138th year of the Groundhog Day celebration in Punxsutawney. Phil's shadow or no shadow sighting will happen in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, around 7:28 a.m. EST on Groundhog's Day, tomorrow.

Related: Cat's Reaction to Suddenly Seeing a Groundhog Outside the Window Is Too Cute for Words

Fox News Weather reports, "Looking at the stats, there's only been a couple of years where we've had a no-shadow look for Phil," FOX Weather Meteorologist Britta Merwin said. "I will say, Phil is struggling with accuracy. He comes in at 39%."

39%? Is he throwing shade at the little groundhog? So 39% is less than correct half of the time, but let's break this down a bit.

How Accurate Punxsutawney Phil's Predictions Have Been For the Last Five Years

Since 1887, Phil has seen his shadow over 100 times, while the number of times he has not seen his shadow is only twenty. Due to Phil's accuracy rating of 39 percent, according to 21AliveNews, to put it in perspective, you have a better chance of flipping a coin to tell you if the winter will extend longer than expected.

In 2019, Phil did not see his shadow, and according to the National Weather Service, a few regions did see colder temperatures following his inaugural forecast, but his prediction mostly came up short.

In 2020, Phil did not see his shadow and his prediction was correct - Go groundhog, Go!-  with the United States seeing above-average temperatures for both February and March 2020, according to scientists at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information:

In 2021, Phil did see his shadow, and he was sort of wrong because according to Fox News Weather, In 2021, February 2021 was the coldest since 1989, but March turned out to be warmer than average. So Phil was sorta kinda right here.

In 2022, Phill saw his shadow and he was correct for most of the USA.

Last year in 2023, Phil did not see his shadow, but winter lasted longer than expected.

So what do you think? Will Phil see his shadow tomorrow or not? To be absolutely fair, as far as I know Phil isn't actually a meteorologist so I do think we have to cut him some slack.

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