Meet Punxsutawney Phil, America’s beloved ground hog. On February 2, 2016 he’ll come out of his burrow and let everyone know if he sees his shadow. Last year he did.
If he sees his shadow, tradition says Americans can expect six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, warmer weather lies ahead.
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.
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: