How accurate is Punxsutawney Phil?

Each year on February 2, Groundhog Day, the famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil predicts whether spring will arrive early or late. How accurate is Phil for 2012?  Via

According to, Punxsutawney Phil has only been correct 39% of the time. Of course, long range forecasts can be difficult to predict for the human forecaster. For example, the 2011-2012 winter outlook for the United States and Europe was supposed to be a very cold winter during the months of December and January. Instead, most of these regions are experiencing warmer weather with less snowfall. Recently, very cold temperatures have been over parts of central Europe, and Alaska is once again experiencing extremely cold temperatures with lows as cold as -60°C. For most winters, everyone typically hopes Phil does not see his shadow in hopes for an early spring. However this year, many people might hope for the opposite. With very little accumulating snow across the United States and lack of cold, winter weather enthusiasts have been extremely disappointed. It might become a celebration for many if Phil does see his shadow, which statistically, has happened roughly 87% of the time.


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