Updated Feb 2, 2024 - Energy & Environment

Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil predicts early spring

A groundhog held by a man in a tophat

Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (L) with Punxsutawney Phil and his handler. Photo: Michael Swensen/Getty Images

The world's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, did not see his shadow after emerging from his den in Gobbler's Knob, Pa., on Friday.

Why it matters: That heralds an early spring, according to the annual tradition.

Reality check: Phil's predictions are, sadly, unreliable. He and his groundhog ancestors have only been right 39% of the time since the tradition began in 1887, per CBS, citing the Stormfax Almanac.

Yes, but: Assessing Phil's accuracy is not an exact science — there is no single definition of an early spring — and an Axios analysis last year found that the groundhog actually performed far better than a coin toss over the last 75 years.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional information about Punxsutawney Phil's track record.

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