How accurate is Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast?


Bella Nino

The weather begins to warm up as the snow is starting to melt outside of Central Campus on Feb. 6.

“I’m so mad at the groundhog for seeing his shadow again. I was hoping for spring to come sooner because I’m so sick of the cold, snowy weather,” said sophomore Delila Nino. 

On the morning of Feb. 2, the Punxsutawney Phil groundhog emerged from his burrow and saw his shadow once again, predicting to us six more cold, long weeks of winter. 

According to CBS News, citizens gathered early on the cold Thursday morning at Gobbler’s Knob as part of Phil’s “inner circle” to summon him from his tree stump in hopes of him not seeing his shadow, but they said he did. 

The “inner circle” is a well developed group of Punxsutawney, Pa., locals who are responsible for planning the town’s events, as well as taking care of Phil, feeding him, and assisting him out of his burrow. 

Punxsutawney is a small town about 65 miles northeast outside of Pittsburgh, with a population of approximately 5,700 as of the 2021 census.

This old folklore tells that if the groundhog sees his shadow, winter lasts another dreadful six weeks. If not, spring comes early. 

“I don’t want to have to wait six more weeks for spring to come. I just want the weather to start getting warmer and for the snow to melt,” junior Cece Marlow said. 

In accord with Phil’s old records dating all the way back to 1887, he has predicted winter more than 100 times, 10 of those years results being lost due to Phil’s documents not being kept. 

“I’m definitely disappointed that the groundhog Phil saw his shadow. I just want school to be over and for it to be summer,” junior Gracie Dooley said.  

Punxsutawney Phil helps out his own community in a way, predicting to tell farmers whether or not to start rushing to plant their crops, for the groundhog forecasts snow and frost to continue for the next couple of weeks before it warms up, making the crop fields unready for planting conditions.

Some students find groundhog day more important than others. 

“Groundhog Day is very important and seeing his shadow is very special to millions of people, especially winter lovers like myself,” said junior Josh Pucel. “When I heard he saw his shadow I jumped out of my seat in joy, I was so happy I couldn’t contain myself. Having an animal decide whether spring is coming early or late is such an inspiration to nations worldwide.”