SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) – It’s another day in the books for Punxsutawney Phil, as he predicted 6 more weeks of winter Thursday morning.
Utah’s weather seems to agree with Punxsutawney Phil, as areas in Utah have received 150- 223% more snowpack than usual. This prediction marks the 108th time the groundhog has seen his shadow since 1887.
The Groundhog day tradition, celebrated in the United States and Canada, started in western Pennsylvania. It stemmed from a Pennsylvanian Dutch superstition that states if a groundhog sees its shadow, winter will continue for 6 more weeks, but if the groundhog doesn’t see its shadow because of clouds, spring will arrive early.
The lore stems from German-speaking areas, that celebrated Candlemas, in which a badger was used to predict whether or not there would be a long winter. The badger is non-native to the East Coast which is why the groundhog was chosen instead.
So how accurate is this prediction system? According to Washington Post, while the groundhog was right in more cities than not over the last 30 years, there doesn’t seem to be any real correlation to the groundhog’s prediction.