Can a Groundhog Truly Determine When Spring Will Come?

Victoria Zapata, writer, photographer

*Update Friday: Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter.

Some may know about the fluffy groundhog that comes out of hibernation once a year and determines whether its spring time or not. Some hear Groundhog Day and think nothing of it.

Groundhog Day can be very underrated, but it’s actually really interesting once you get to know about it. Punxsutawney Phil, a world-famous Groundhog, is making his annual return in Western Philadelphia early Friday morning. The legend has it that if it is sunny and Phil sees his shadow, he will go back into his burrow in fear of the extra six weeks of winter.

However, if it is cloudy, Phil will not have a shadow to be scared of meaning that there will be an early start to Spring. Good news is that the forecast for Friday morning in Punxsutawney, Pa calls for cloudy skies and a slim chance of snow which helps the chances of an early spring.

Phil isn’t always correct about the seasons, in fact both February and March ended up being warmer-than-average in 2017 after he had claimed winter was going to be extended. Since 1887, the Phil has seen his shadow 103 times, to forecast a longer winter, and not seen it 18 times, to predict an early spring.