Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow today, perhaps suggesting Americans will see an early spring.
Interpreting his behavior, the Groundhog Club emcee proclaimed, “There is no shadow to be cast! An early spring is my forecast!”
He added, “Take your jackets off, you’re not going to need them!”
Most in crowd gathered in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania did not, however, because it was 22 degrees.
Over the last 28 years, the groundhog has been “right about the weather” roughly half of the time. Thirteen times the national average temperature for the remainder of February matched the forecasted weather based on the groundhog’s behavior. Thirteen times it didn’t.
If the groundhog sees his shadow, tradition says Americans can expect six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, warmer weather lies ahead.
Ground Hog Day originated from an old European celebration of “Candlemas,” which is a Roman Catholic celebration, that turned into a secular date to mark the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.
Phil is apparently the most famous ground hog, but he follows a lineage of groundhogs that have been predicting the weather in America since 1887.
Learn more about him, courtesy of Groundhog.org and USA Today: