Each year, Americans wait with bated breath to learn from a groundhog if spring will come sooner rather than later. Yes, Groundhog Day is most certainly an odd tradition, but it’s our tradition nonetheless.
The bizarre history of Groundhog Day can be traced back to 1887, when, for the first time, people took weather advice from a rodent at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, History.com explained. It was then that a newspaper editor who happened to be a part of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club declared that Punxsutawney Phil was America’s only true weather-forecasting groundhog.
It was also then that the editor decided if the groundhog saw his shadow there would be six more weeks of winter, The Weather Channel explained. However, if he didn’t see it then an early spring (and warmer temperatures) were on the way. Here we are, 132 years later, and we’re still taking this ground-dweller's advice.
Groundhog Day still not making sense? Well, it doesn’t really have to. Just roll with it and celebrate Groundhog Day like a professional with all the facts below.
When is Groundhog Day 2019?
Groundhog Day is Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. The festivities begin at 3 a.m. in Punxsutawney, a borough 84 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. However, the groundhog isn’t expected to emerge from his burrow until exactly 7:20 a.m.
Groundhog Day Prediction 2019
According to The Weather Channel, Saturday will likely be cloudy and cold in Punxsutawney. That could mean Phil won’t see his shadow, which would mean we are in for an early spring. Good thing, considering how our winter weather has been lately.
How accurate are Punxsutawney Phil's predictions?
For a groundhog, Phil is surprisingly accurate. According to LiveScience, multiple generations of Phils have predicted 103 forecasts of more winter and 17 early springs. As Data from the Stormfax Almanac shows, Phil's predictions have been right a whopping 39 percent of the time. Not bad for a groundhog.
How can I watch Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day 2019?
If you can’t be there to watch Phil’s prediction in person, you can live stream it here.