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.{}