Did the groundhog see his shadow?

Did the groundhog see his shadow?

Thursday morning, Americans will tune in to see Punxsutawney Phil predict the winter's end and spring's arrival.

German tradition says that if the hibernating groundhog sees its shadow, we'll have to endure another six weeks of cold, snowy winter. If he does not see his shadow, then his prediction is an early spring.

These are just a few examples of humans looking to the animals around us to get an idea of what to expect in long-term weather forecasts. This elite group of local dignitaries is responsible for the planning of the annual event that brings thousands of faithful followers to see Phil each year.

February 2, 1886 - The Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper proclaims this date as Pennsylvania's first official Groundhog Day celebration.

Ask just about anyone what happens on February 2 and they will say it's Groundhog Day! If she doesn't come out at all or runs back into her house before the 30 seconds are up, she is forecasting six more weeks of winter.

We are about halfway between the winter solstice, which came December 21, and the vernal equinox, which comes March 20 this year, a point known as a cross-quarter day.

As for the accuracy of Punxsutawney Phil's weather predictions, the Inner Circle claims that Phil is, on average, 70 to 80 percent accurate.

"The table shows no predictive skill for the groundhog during the most recent years of this analysis", said NOAA, parent agency of the National Weather Service. Those aren't very good odds for us getting an early spring, huh!? At first Murray revels at being able to act dishonorably without consequences, but he soon grows tired of having to wake up every morning to Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe" and facing the same day again and again.

When the Pennsylvania Germans immigrated to North America they began using a groundhog because hedgehogs were scarce.

Groundhog day is tomorrow, and, apparently, some people are willing to spend a lot of money for a glimpse at Punxsutawney Phil.