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Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck predict an early spring!

Posted: 7:32 AM, Feb 02, 2020
Updated: 2020-02-02 11:59:26-05
Groundhog Day 2020

Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog threw us for a loop this year — looks like we're in for an early spring!

Punxsutawney Phil's handlers announced the rodent did not see his shadow at sunrise Sunday.

Shortly after, New York's own groundhog, Staten Island Chuck, backed up Phil's "forecast" of an early spring by not seeing his shadow Sunday morning, according to officials.

Watch Phil's ceremony in Philadelphia here:

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced Sunday morning that Staten Island Chuck also did not see his shadow:

Legend has it, if the more famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, casts a shadow on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, expect six more weeks of winter-like weather. If not, expect spring-like temperatures.

The tradition dates back 134 years. According to data, He has seen his shadow 104 times compared to not seeing his shadow 20 times. There is no record from 10 Groundhog Days.

Despite the pomp and circumstance around Phil when he wriggles out of his burrow, Phil’s accuracy is dubious.

For instance, in 2017, Phil saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter, but the United States mostly basked in a very warm end to winter. 2017 marked the second-warmest February in recorded US history. March was only slightly more mild, marking the ninth-warmest March in recorded US history.

In 2018, Phil saw his shadow, and incorrectly predicted a cool start to spring, according to NOAA data. February ended up being a very warm month for much of the United States, especially in the East. In 2019, Phil did not see his shadow, and February ended up being a warm month for the Northeast.

In the 21st century, Phil has been less than 50 percent accurate with his forecasts.