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Groundhog Day: How accurate is Punxsutawney Phil?

Posted at 5:33 PM, Feb 01, 2018

Fans of winter will be rooting for Punxsutawney Phil to crawl out of his burrow early Friday morning on Groundhog Day to see his shadow, indicating that winter will continue on for another six weeks. 

But how accurate is Phil, and will him seeing his shadow mean winter's wrath will continue? 

According to information compiled by the National Centers for Environmental Information, Phil has struggled in recent years to accurately predict the weather. 

For instance, last year, Phil saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter, but the United States mostly basked in a very warm end to winter. 2017 marked the second-warmest February in recorded US history. March was only slightly more mild, marking the ninth-warmest March in recorded US history. 

In the 21st century, Phil has been less than 50 percent accurate with his forecasts. 

But other groundhogs claim to have the superior forecasting abilities. 

According to a report by the Staten Island Advance, Staten Island' Chuck has been more accurate. The newspaper claims that Chuck has been accurate 80 percent of the time since 1992. 

But those in Pennsylvania claim that Punxsutawney Phil, who they claim is 131 years old, is the only groundhog capable of weather forecasting, and all others are "imposters." 

In case you are wondering, Phil is much more likely to see his shadow than not. He has seen his shadow 103 times compared to not seeing his shadow 18 times. There is no record from 10 Groundhog Days. 

If you want to see Punxsutawney Phil's big day, a live stream will be posted on this website, starting at 6 a.m. ET.