Groundhog Day 2020 Report: Punxsutawney Phil Predicts Early Spring

By Anna Breuer on 2 February 2020
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For those tired of winter, there’s good news: The nation’s two most famous groundhogs, Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck, awoke from their respective slumbers and did not see their shadows early Sunda, Groundhog Day 2020.

As legend holds, the forecast calls for an early spring.

Today is only the 20 time out of 124 in the record history of the Punxsutawney rodent that Phil hasn’t been able to find his shadow.  It is the fifth year in a row that Chuck predicted an early spring.

The legend goes that if the groundhog sees his shadow on February 2, winter weather will continue for six weeks. Should he not see his shadow, however, there will be an early spring.

There may indeed be an early spring but a winter storm will bring snow to the western United States early in the week and snow will blanket parts of the Plains and Midwest in the course of the week, although temperatures in the Northeast will remain moderate.

Phil, the world’s most famous groundhog, isn’t always right.

“There is no predictive skill for the groundhog during the most recent years of the analysis,” according to the National Centers for Environmental Information.

In the past 30 years, Phil has been right 38% of the time while Chuck has nailed it in 68% of his predictions.

Groundhog Day festivities have their origin in a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition that transplanted German holiday Badger Day, or Dachstag, to the United States. Dachstag was observed on Candlemas, February 2, effectively the midway point between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal, or Spring, Equinox. The tradition held that, if a badger emerged that day and found it to be sunny, thereby casting a shadow, it meant that winter would last for four more weeks.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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