Groundhog Day 2022: Will Punxsutawney Phil See His Shadow?

by Courtney Blackann

After the brutal winter storms slamming much of the northeast – and even parts of the south – could Punxsutawney Phil emerge Wednesday and offer some good news? Groundhog Day is upon us and we’re all counting on Phil to deliver spring early. On Wednesday, Feb. 2, the furry creature will emerge from his burrow. Whether or not he sees his shadow will determine if we have six more weeks of a bleak winter or if spring will arrive soon. So what will it be?

While experts at The Weather Channel have a bit more science-supported evidence on what we will see, the tradition is still fun – and it helps us have a more optimistic outlook about the remaining wintry weather. Plus Phil is absolutely adorable!

According to Wednesday’s forecast in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, it’ll be pretty cloudy with a high somewhere in the 20s. Yikes. The area has been blasted with snowstorms in the past weeks which have brought 18 inches of snow in some areas. Surely residents all over the United States could use some good news about an early spring.

The tradition goes that if Phil comes out of his burrow and sees his shadow, there will be another six weeks of winter. But if he emerges and does not see his shadow, spring will come early with higher than average temperatures in February and March.

Groundhog Day Tradition

Further, the ritual dates back to 1886, so it’s been adopted as a fun U.S. tradition more than anything else. And experts agree, Phil is not very accurate (but let’s not blame the groundhog here).

From 1887 to 2021, Phil has seen his shadow a total of 105 times. He’s not seen his shadow only 20 times. And there are 10 years of unaccounted data. Even so, the science of his findings are off. And NOAA even says that Phil has “no predictive skill.” But once again, putting future weather entirely on a furry animal would be really silly.

Even so, the tradition is fun. And other states started incorporating their own groundhogs into the predictions. This includes  General Beauregard Lee of AtlantaDunkirk Dave of Dunkirk, New York and Jimmy of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

Last year, Phil correctly predicted six more weeks of winter when he saw his shadow. Across the U.S. we saw one of the coldest Februarys on record. But prior to that, the little guy has been pretty off.

So what do you think, Outsiders? Could we be lucky enough to start planning that spring trip with the gals? Or we will be stuck inside sipping hot cocoa for weeks on end? Check back Wednesday to see the results! And Happy Groundhog Day!