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Punxsutawney Phil predicts early spring

February 2, 2013 | | |
Filed under Beauty Of The USA

According to Pennsylvania’s famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, we are in for an early spring.

Legend has it that if the furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2 on Gobbler’s Knob in west-central Pennsylvania, winter will last six more weeks. But if he doesn’t see his shadow, spring will come early. Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his lair Saturday in front of thousands of onlookers but didn’t see his shadow.

Zoological data suggest that groundhogs have an average lifespan of ten years in captivity and six years in the wild, with a maximum lifespan of 14 years in captivity documented. Punxsutawney Phil fans say that there is only one Phil (all the other groundhog weathermen are imposters), and that he has made weather prognostications for over 123 years as of 2013. They say that every summer, Phil is given a sip of the mysterious Groundhog Elixir, which magically lengthens his life for seven years. This is done by Inner Circle members. According to the Groundhog Club, Phil, after making the prediction, speaks to the Club President in “Groundhogese,” which only the current president can understand, and then his prediction is translated for the entire world.

phil

Past predictions

Year Prediction
1887–1888 “Long winter”
1889 No record
1890 “Early spring”
1891–1897 No record
1898 “Long winter”
1899 No record
1900–1901 “Long winter”
1902 “Early spring”
1903–1933 “Long winter”
1934 “Early spring”
1935–1941 “Long winter”
1942 “War clouds have blacked out parts of the shadow.”
1943 No appearance (World War II)
1944–1949 “Long winter”
1950 “Early spring”
1951–1969 “Long winter”
1970 “Early spring”
1971–1974 “Long winter”
1975 “Early spring”
1976–1982 “Long winter”
1983 “Early spring”
1984–1985 “Long winter”
1986 “Early spring”
1987 “Long winter”
1988 “Early spring”
1989 “Long winter”
1990 “Early spring”
1991–1994 “Long winter”
1995 “Early spring”
1996 “Long winter”
1997 “Early spring”
1998 “Long winter”
1999 “Early spring”
2000–2006 “Long winter”
2007 “Early spring”
2008–2010 “Long winter”
2011 “Early spring”
2012 “Long winter”
2013 “Early Spring”

Of these 116 predictions on record so far, Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an “early spring” 16 times (13.8%). As to his accuracy, according to the StormFax Weather Almanac and records kept since 1887, Phil’s predictions have been correct 39% of the time.

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