Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring after not seeing his shadow this Groundhog Day — a prediction so rare, it’s only happened 19 times in the tradition’s 133-year-history.
The story of the holiday tradition declares that if the groundhog emerges early on the morning of February 2 and sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If he doesn’t see his shadow, an early spring is in the forecast.
The annual event began in 1886, when a spirited group of groundhog hunters dubbed themselves “The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club” and proclaimed Punxsutawney Phil to be the one and only groundhog meteorologist.
“Every February 2nd, we look forward to celebrating this beloved Pennsylvania tradition with the rest of the world,” said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf in a statement. “Groundhog Day is something you can only find in our commonwealth, and we’re honored to share Phil’s prediction with visitors, residents, and the millions of families watching from their homes.”