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How accurate is Punxsutawney Phil? | VERIFY

The groundhog is famous for its annual weather predictions, which may not be as reliable as you'd think.

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. — He’s the most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania, and this year Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, indicating six more weeks of winter.

While this folklore is iconic in the Commonwealth, we checked to see how accurate Phil’s predictions are and whether we should really expect six more weeks of winter or an early spring.


How accurate is Punxsutawney Phil?


The National Centers for Environmental Information

The Stormfax Weather Almanac

FOX43 Meteorologist Ally Debicki


Since his first official prognostication in 1887, the Stormfax Weather almanac says Punxsutawney Phil has gotten 39% of his predictions right.

The infamous groundhog has stayed pretty consistent. The National Centers for Environmental Information says only 4 of his 10 predictions from 2012 to 2021 were correct.

FOX43’s Ally Debick is certified by the American Meteorological Society. She says we can expect a different outlook in the forecast over the next six weeks.

"The climate prediction center, not only has the month of February trending well above average, but February, March, and April," Debicki said.

And if you are the superstitious type, FOX43 morning meteorologist Andrea Michaels didn't see her shadow in Central Pa.


I did my own prognostication in the spirit of Groundhog Day 2023! #weather #groundhog #groundhogday #2023 #groundhogday2023 #earlyspring #sixmoreweeksofwinter #sixmoreweeks #meteorology #meteorologist #meteorologistsoftiktok

♬ Comical and a little silly carefree music(831995) - Etsuo Kawasaki

"I’m calling it. No shadow. 6 more weeks of winter?" Andrea said in a TikTok. "Nope. An early spring it is friends."

So at least here in the Commonwealth, don’t get too hung up on what the groundhog says and expect more spring-like temperatures.

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