Phil Says An Early Spring! But How Accurate Is The Groundhog?

So Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow, which means an early spring... but does it really?{ } How accurate is this groundhog?{ }

NOAA put together a great table of Phil's forecast vs. the U.S. National Temperature for February and March dating back to 1888.{ } Check it out.


Now Phil's been predicting the spring forecast for quite some time.{ } In fact, he's the oldest weather person in the books!{ } The Groundhog Day tradition has been around since the 18th century.{ } It's an ancient celebration of the midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox.{ } Groundhog day occurs every year on February 2nd.{ } Legend has it that fair weather is a foreshadowing of a stormy and cold second half to winter.{ }

When Phil emerges from his hole, after a long winter's sleep, on February 2nd if he sees his shadow, Phil thinks it's an omen, and returns to his hole for six more weeks of winter.{ } If Phil does not see his shadow, he takes it as a sign of an early spring and stays above ground. { }

Phil has predicted an early spring this year, but according to NOAA's research, Phil's not getting the forecast correct, as often, especially in the most recent years.{ }