The Groundhog Day Results Are In. Here's What Punxsutawney Phil Predicted This Year
Punxsutawney Phil is back, and this year, he’s predicting we’re in for more cold.
The weather-forecasting furry favorite greeted the large crowd gathered in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on Friday and saw his shadow. As belief goes, this means we’re in for six more weeks of winter.
The small town has been carrying out the Groundhog Day tradition at Gobbler’s Knob since 1887, according to the History Channel. The tradition's roots are tied to the Christian holiday of Candlemas Day, celebrated every year on Feb. 2.
The story goes that on Candlemas Day, clergy used to give out candles for the winter, with the candles indicating how long recipients could expect winter to last and how cold the season would be.
According to the History Channel, Germans expanded the concept to use animals as weather predictors, starting with hedgehogs. When German settlers came to Pennsylvania, they shifted their focus to groundhogs because of how common the animal was in the area.
Since then, thousands of spectators have gathered in Punxsutawney each year to witness the groundhog's emergence in person, watching closely for whether Phil sees his shadow or doesn't. Groundhog Day's meaning boils down to this moment.
This year, meteorologists predicted we’d be in for more cold.
“Boston to New York City and Philadelphia may see snow a few more times before the end of the season,” AccuWeather long-range forecaster Paul Pastelok predicted.
Meanwhile, AccuWeather’s meteorologists also predict we can expect blasts of arctic air across the Midwest and Northern Plains and at least one or two more cold waves in the Southern Plains before we start to see temperatures gradually warm up in March and April.
We’re also still in for some severe thunderstorms predicted to hit the Southeast through February, while snow and rain are expected to make their way from the Northwest to the Rockies throughout the month, according to AccuWeather.
The spring season officially kicks off on March 20, though that hasn't stopped the groundhog tradition from continuing for decades.
Last year on Groundhog Day 2017, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, signaling six more weeks of winter, while he missed it back in 2016, forecasting an early spring.