Groundhog Day is here! Normally, thousands of people will gather at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to see Punxsutawney Phil in person. However, amidst the coronavirus, this year’s event will be virtual, and there will be no in-person attendance. Everything will be business as usual for Phil, though, as he emerges from his burrow to predict whether or not we’ll have an early spring this year. The event will be live-streamed via VisitPA.com, so anyone can tune in from home.
Once Punxsutawney Phil comes out from his burrow, he’ll search for his shadow to make his prediction. If he does see his shadow, he’ll run back into the burrow and we’ll have six more weeks of winter, according to the legend of Groundhog Day. However, if clouds prevent Phil from seeing his shadow, he’ll stay outside, and it means an early spring is in the forecast!
With a snowstorm ripping across the east coast and expected to last well into the day on Feb. 2, sunny skies are not likely, which is a good sign for those who are hoping Phil doesn’t see his shadow. Phil will make his prediction around sunrise local time — about 7:28 a.m. ET. Leading up to the big event, though, there is expected entertainment on the stage beginning at 3:00 a.m. Members of Phil’s “inner circle” are tasked with receiving the results from Phil to share with viewers across the country.
In 2020, Phil didn’t see his shadow, which meant he predicted an early spring. The results were the same in 2019, as well. Phil has predicted a longer winter more than 100 times, and has only predicted an early spring 19 times. Unfortunately, his results aren’t always accurate — his accuracy rate is less than 40 percent.
Groundhog Day legend states that Punxsutawney Phil has been making his predictions since 1886. He’s able to live so long due to drinking from his ‘elixir of life’ every summer, which magically gives him seven more years of life. More information about Phil and the legend of Groundhog Day can be found HERE.