Phil and his friends at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania
, have been predicting the seasons since 1887, according to his website
Though Phil has no meteorology degree, every year on February 2, the United States tunes in for his prediction.
Legend has it that if Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter and if he doesn’t, spring will arrive sooner. In 2021 the groundhog did see his shadow, calling for six more weeks of cold.
Turns out he was only half correct, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which manages “one of the largest archives of atmospheric, coastal, geophysical, and oceanic research in the world.”
“The contiguous United States saw below average temperatures in February and above average temperatures in March of last year. Phil was 50/50 on his forecast,” the NCEI said.
Phil’s track record is not perfect, the agency noted. “On average, Phil has gotten it right 40% of the time over the past 10 years,” NCEI said.
Phil’s fans beg to differ. On his website, the “weather predictor extraordinaire” is said to be “accurate 100% of the time.”