What it means if the groundhog sees his shadow — because we forget every year
As the early morning sun rose over Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania this morning, February 2nd, America’s favorite groundhog saw his shadow. For those of you who forgot the symbolism: Shadow = six more weeks of winter. If the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow, then we supposedly get an early spring.
We know some of you reading probably question Punxsutawney Phil’s authority. He’s a groundhog, after all. What does a groundhog know about meteorology? In all fairness, he doesn’t know much, and he sometimes even gets the forecast wrong. Actually, he gets his prediction wrong more often than not, according to USA Today.
But still, his handlers, known as the “Inner Circle” of The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, claim Phil is correct 100% of the time. He’s just not always location specific, meaning these six more weeks of winter will happen ~somewhere~ in the world. Nice save, fellas.
Unfortunately, in the 132 years we’ve been listening to Phil, he’s seen his shadow over 100 times, thus cursing us with more winter the majority of years.
In the past, Phil has used his power of prediction and magic groundhog abilities to sway politics and societal opinion. For example, during Prohibition, Phil threatened 60 more weeks of winter if he didn’t get a drink.
In 1958, he told the American public that it was the “United States Chucknik” that became the first man-made satellite to orbit Earth. He supported the American hostages in Iran in 1981 and even met President Ronald Reagan 1986.
Punxsutawney Phil is not a creature you want to cross. He knows people in high places.
And for those of you wondering — yes, the Punxsutawney Phil we saw this morning is the same Phil the Groundhog Club pulled from his burrow in 1886 (“allegedly”). Phil drinks a special “elixir of life” every summer at the Groundhog Picnic that magically grants him seven more years of life. Duh!
Phil, we don’t like your shadow very much. But we respect your prediction and will happily throw on another sweater in the name of Punxsutawney.