Punxsutawney Phil is arguably the most famous groundhog in the United States. The weather predicting animal from Pennsylvania foretells whether winter will abruptly end or if it will continue for another several weeks. He has been on the job for a reported 128 years. Phil saw his shadow this year, and that means that winter will go on for another six weeks.
People who rely on Phil’s weather predictions should not become too worried about the extension of winter. According to the National Climatic Data Center, the groundhog is wrong most of the time. He has seen his shadow a total of 101 times since the tradition began. There is no record of Phil’s first prediction in 1886, but all others have been recorded.
Groundhog Day is on February 2nd when the creature wakens from hibernation. The tradition actually began in Europe. It was then called Candelmas Day. German settlers in the Pennsylvania area brought the tradition with them. There are other areas of the country that celebrate Groundhog Day as well. Phil remains the most well-known predictor, and people travel to the area in order to take part in the festivities of the day. Phil does not seem to mind the notoriety.