Groundhog Day 2014: Punxsutawney Phil Predicts Longer Winter

Punxsutawney Phil predicts a longer winter, but don’t worry, he doesn’t have a good track record for accuracy. 

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. — The handlers for groundhog Punxsutawney Phil say he’s forecasting six more weeks of what already has felt like a brutally long and cold winter.

Pennsylvania’s famed groundhog emerged from his lair in front of thousands of fans around daybreak Sunday.

Legend has it that if the furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last another month-and-a-half. If he doesn’t see it, spring will come early.

In reality, Phil’s prediction is decided ahead of time by a group called the Inner Circle, whose members don top hats and tuxedos for the ceremony on Groundhog Day each year.

Phil is the most famous of a small group of groundhogs said to forecast the weather, including Staten Island Chuck in New York and General Beauregard Lee in Atlanta.

The National Weather Service notes that the Punxsutawney Groundhog Day predictions have been right 10 times and wrong 15 times since 1988.

“The groundhog has shown no talent for predicting the arrival of spring, especially in recent years,” according to the Weather Service. “Phil’s competitor groundhogs across the Nation fared no better.”

Epoch Times staff member Tara MacIsaac contributed to this report.

Category: US US News

  • BungeeCord

    I’m glad the little guy is wrong more often than he is right!

  • Sarah Sahasbeen

    Phil can go take a flying leap. I’ve seen enough cold, snow and winter in general for the rest of my life. Enough is enough.

  • rg9rts

    March 20th

  • Canukistani

    Sorry, but since he’s becomre a celebrity I think this guy has sold out to the media. I just can’t trust him anymore.

  • VincentTPackhorse

    The Packhorse family had a groundhog living in a den/burough behind the house. A friend of mine dubbed him “Chuck Woods”—a twist on woodchuck, a name by which they are also know.

    • Gin1234

      How long did they live there? They just move right in where ever they want to. I read up on them, and their burrows and the underground tunnels are long and can come out in your neighbors yard or farther, sometimes. They always have a few escape routes.

      I came home from minor surgery one day after general anethesia and found a ground hog digging a huge hole under my garage backed by my garden. Instead of going to bed, I was running around trying to fill in the hole as fast as it could dig it. It won for that day but I filled it in later. They can sure throw dirt when they dig. My garden is still filled with all kinds of rock that was evidently deep under the foundation of the garage floor. It would have been kind of cute if it didn’t sit there and eat my flowers.

      • capkelly

        Could have been worse. A raccoon killed a pet and infected another with roundworms, which cause neurological damage. And these were indoor pets who only went out occasionally ;-((((

        • Gin1234

          I’m so sorry to hear that. Raccoons are nasty no matter how you look at it. I live in a city but am constantly being harassed by all the wild pests like racoons, and skunks that have no problem coming right up onto my deck . They could be cute, except that they are nasty. I have an old cat that only sleeps on my deck in the evenings now, but I have to constantly worry about her, and check on her because I am scared of exactly what you said. I hope your pet that was infected is doing okay. Does it have serious neuro damage, now? I hope he doesn’t suffer. I’m so sorry for your loss.

          • capkelly

            Yeah, he is now an invalid bun who can’t hop or sit or stand.. lies there. He eats okay but has to be handfed and changed. wah.

            Raccoon roundworms have killed two kids, even, and still Animal Control will do nothing about them. They only help with “wounded” wildlife. I said if I got hold of the ‘coons they WOULD be wounded wildlife! (sorry, I went from “friends of wildlife” to “make them into a hat” in about 2 minutes after they killed one of my pets. THey are strong, smart, have thumbs, and are vectors for disease.

            But this I couldn’t/ can’t do anything about (unless a pet NEVER goes outside). But they love to take in the air and smell the earth and all that stuff.

      • VincentTPackhorse

        I’m an embarrassment to myself—misspelling ‘burrow.’ Perhaps if I hailed from NYC, ‘borough’ would be acceptable. I edited my post accordingly.

        We have parkland behind our house in which a groundhog took up residence for several years at least. We would spot it or its progeny periodically after long absences.

        A few years ago a fox appropriated the burrow for her residence and produced a litter of kits therein. They were cute as could be.

        • Gin1234

          Baby foxes have got to be adorable. I don’t think I have ever seen one. I didn’t notice the borough misspelling, since I can’t spell anything right, myself. The fact that I spelled it burrow, was just random.

  • capkelly

    Oh for goodness sakes let the poor guy sleep in peace.

  • Cynthia W.

    Oh Phil. I know it’s not your fault, but next time, just wear a blindfold so you can’t see anything.

  • Sharyn

    I knew I didn’t like you Phil.