Groundhog Day 2012: Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow, 6 more weeks of winter
By Jason Samenow
Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil. (Groundhog.org) At 7:25 a.m. this morning, amidst mostly cloudy skies, and temperatures in the low 30s, Groundhog Phil saw his shadow in the little town of Punxsutawney, Pa.
According to folklore, Phil’s sighting of his own shadow means there will be 6 more weeks of winter. Had Phil not seen his shadow, it would have meant “there will be an early spring.”
If Phil’s forecast is right, it signals a dramatic reversal from the mild weather pattern affecting much of the country. Many parts of the central and eastern U.S. have seen temperatures 20 to 30 degrees above normal in recent days. On February 1, just 19% of the Lower 48 had snow cover compared to 52% at this time last year.
Historic odds heavily favor a forecast for winter to last deep into March. Since the Groundhog’s first prediction in 1887, Phil has seen his shadow 99 times and failed to spot it just 16 times. There are 9 missing years in the record, but Phil has issued a forecast without exception.