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Punxsutawney Phil Predicts Six More Weeks of Winter

1 minute read

The presaging groundhog of Punxsutawney, Pa. has predicted six more weeks of winter, so put your pullover back on—this year’s long, cold winter will continue.

But Phil doesn’t have the best track record for accuracy. Legend has it that when the famous forecaster emerges from his hole Feb. 2 and sees his shadow and crawls back into his burrow, winter will last another month-and-a-half, but an analysis of weather data by the National Climactic Data Center in Asheville N.C. shows that Phil is often wrong—between 1988 and 2012, he was wrong 15 times and right 10 times.

The forecast actually has little to do with what the groundhog sees. Phil’s prediction is determined ahead of time by a group called the Inner Circle, who wear top coats and tuxedos to the annual Groundhog Day ceremony, according to the Associated Press.

Sunday’s Groundhog Day is the first time the ceremony has coincided with the Super Bowl. This year’s ceremony comes in the middle of a brutally cold winter, which has seen freezing temperatures repeatedly stretch into regions like the Deep South as well as Midwest and Northeast.

[USA Today]

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