Monday, February 1, 2016

Happy Groundhog Day America: Punxsutawney Phil will be making his 129th prediction tomorrow: Will he or won't he see his shadow?

"This is pitiful. A thousand people, freezing their butts off, waiting to worship a rat! What a hype. Well they used to mean something in this town, they used to pull the hog out and they used to eat it. You're hypocrites! All of ya! You got a problem with what I'm saying, Larry? Untie your tongue and you come out here and talk, huh? Am I upsetting you, Princess? You know you want a prediction about the weather, you're asking the wrong Phil. I'll give you a prediction. It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be gray, and it's gonna last you the rest of your life." ~~ Bill Murray , American actor and comedian, as quoted in the 1993 critically acclaimed film "Groundhog Day"

It’s that time of year again, when a funny furry fortune-teller comes out and predicts six more weeks of winter if he casts a shadow – if no shadow, early spring is here. DID OR DIDN'T Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow? If so we can expect 6 more weeks of winter.

Punxsutarney Phil did not see his shadow! Is Punxsutawney Phil right? "There is no shadow to be cast! An early spring is my forecast!" said the Groundhog Club emcee at Gobbler's Knob.

Occurring every year on February 1st, 2nd or 3rd , dates for the entire celebration begin February 1st - February 3rd, and Punxsy Phil will predict what the next 6 weeks of weather will be.

Amazingly, for over two centuries, (1886 or earlier) crowds as large as 40,000 have gathered at Gobbler's Knob hill at Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to celebrate. Other celebrations taking place in Pennsylvania include Quarryville in Lancaster County, the Anthracite Region of Schuylkill County, and Bucks County.

The largest Groundhog Day celebration is held in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Groundhog Day received more mass attention after the release of the 1993 comedy film “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray who plays Phil Connors, an egotistical Pittsburgh TV weatherman who, during a hated assignment covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, dreams living February 2nd over and over while repeatedly indulging in hedonism and numerous suicide attempts.

Finally he wakes up and realizes his life matters and prioritizes and makes drastic changes and improvements. In 2006, the film was added to the United States National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

YouTube Video: Groundhog Day - Phil (Bill Murray) Steals Phil (The Groundhog)

Many wonder just how scientific is Punxsy Phil's shadow. According to, the furry fortune teller is accurate 75% to 90% of the time, while a Canadian study of 13 states has the success rate at 37% and the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) has the overall prediction rate at 39% accurate (since 1987).

The Stormfax Weather Almanac reports Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow 100 times (as of last year 2014) which equates to 101 times this year (2015), no shadow 16 times with no record 9 times.
Groundhog day in Staten Island is sponsored by Time Warner Cable and garnered with trumpets to wake up the little Staten Island's very own woodchuck, "Chuck," as the Staten Island Zoo opens its gates at 6:30 a.m. on Feb. 2.

Also South Carolina has Sir Walter Wally.

Staten Island Chuck, or Charles G. Hogg as he is known in formal company, will make his prediction at 7:30 a.m. and the ceremony is free.

What do you think? Do you believe in the science or spirit of Groundhog Day?

All photos courtesy of Wikimedia and screen shots taken from video and websites. All other photos will be credited as required.

Additional resources:
♦ National Film Registry,
♦ Why Groundhog Day Could Lift the Loonie, CNBC
♦ Groundhog Day: 10 things you should know before going, PENN LIVE,
♦ Groundhog Day 2014: Groundhog Day 2014: Staten Island Chuck ready to make prediction at Staten Island Zoo
♦ Groundhog Day http://www.
♦ Groundhog Day: Planning your trip

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