Groundhog Day 2014: When to Watch, Predictions, Accuracy

By Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times
February 1, 2014 Updated: July 18, 2015

Time: At about 7:25 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 2, Punxsutawney Phil is expected to emerge.

If he sees his shadow and returns, frightened, to his burrow: Winter will continue for six more weeks.

If he doesn’t see his shadow and leaves his burrow: Winter will end soon.

Afflicted by the polar vortex and feeling the winter doldrums common for this time of year, many will look to the groundhogs on Sunday for some rays of hope.

Groundhogs have not proven an overly accurate method of predicting the weather, but Groundhog Day still marks a seasonal turning point in the minds of many—thoughts of not-too-distant spring arise. 

Sunday’s forecast calls for cloud cover, which may cause the famed Pennsylvania groundhog Punxsutawney Phil to emerge from his burrow undeterred by a shadow. This would herald an early spring, according to folklore.

The National Weather Service notes, however, that Phil has 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.”

Groundhogs to Watch on Sunday:

Punxsutawney Phil – Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania

General Beauregard Lee – Atlanta, Georgia

Wiarton Willie – Wiarton, Ontario, Canada

Sir Walter Wally – Raleigh, North Carolina

Jimmy – Wisconsin

UPDATE: Punxsutawney Phil went back into his burrow, signalling a longer winter.