PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. — It’s a question we ask every February 2: Will it be an early spring or six more weeks of winter? It’s a Groundhog Day tradition dating back to the 1880s as Punxsutawney Phil makes his annual prognostication.
Although there's absolutely nothing scientific about the furry forecaster's prediction, legend has it that we will have six more weeks of winter if the groundhog sees his shadow. No shadow? That's supposed to signify an early spring.
While the hope of an early spring seems to be the primary excitement behind the Groundhog Day traditions, it turns out that Punxsutawney Phil has only made that prediction (not seeing his shadow) less than two dozen times.
So how many times has Punxsutawney Phil seen his shadow? How many times has he predicted an early spring? Here are the numbers as announced by the Groundhog Day "Inner Circle"...
- Saw shadow: 108 times
- No shadow: 20 times
- No record of what happened: 10 times
Recently, Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow in 2019 and 2020, offering a back-to-back dose of his rare early spring prediction.
While the Groundhog Day celebration brings thousands of early risers to Gobbler's Knob to witness the event, that wasn't the case in 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns. Instead, organizers hosted a virtual Groundhog Day event with no in-person attendance permitted.
Oh, and if you want a bit more to make you smile for Groundhog's Day, we'll just leave you with this...
Editor's note: Video in the player at the top of this story was originally published on Groundhog Day in 2021.