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Groundhog Day: What to take away from Phil's forecast

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Posted at 4:12 PM, Jan 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-31 16:12:26-05

Place your bets! This weekend, Punxsutawney Phil prognosticates just how much more winter we have to endure.

Sunday morning, a crowd will gather around the groundhog's home in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to see if he catches a glimpse of his shadow. If Phil is scared by his shadow, it's said we can expect six more weeks of winter.

On the other hand, if Phil doesn't see his shadow, the story goes that we can look forward to an early spring.

Groundhog Day has been around since 1887. Since then, the National Centers for Environmental Information has recorded Phil's prediction for an extended winter (104 times) has far out paced his forecast of an early spring (19 times).

Before you lose hope in warmer days, you should know his accuracy isn't the greatest. Just last year Phil brought us an optimistic outlook of an early Spring. What we ended up with was the coolest February across the US since 2010. March 2019 also came in a little below average.

As for this year, the forecast for Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania is for cloudy skies. That's good, if you're hoping Phil brings news of an early spring. With all of those camera lights pointed at him though, anything could happen.