5 Things You Didn’t Know About Groundhogs

Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow, predicts 6 more weeks of winter

In lore that dates back 130 years, if Phil emerges from his hole and sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of cold weather, while no shadow means an early spring.

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But Phil has some competition. Georgia's Gen. Beauregard Lee, New York's Staten Island Chuck and Tennessee's Chattanooga Chuck all predicted an early spring Thursday.

The Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a warmer than normal February for most of the U.S. That warmth will continue for much of the South through New England into April.

So how accurate is Phil? Several computer whizzes have done the calculations.

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According to a 2015 Washington Post analysis of 30 years of forecasts in more than 200 cities, Phil was “technically right more times than not in some cities.”

“Even though Phil’s predictions proved correct for some areas of the country, the difference in average temperatures between years he predicted an early spring and years he did not varied by no more than a few degrees,” The Post found.

The National Centers for Environmental Information also released a report this week that looked at February and March temperatures compared to Phil’s past forecasts.

The number crunching found “no predictive skill for the groundhog during the most recent years of this analysis.”

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