Happy Groundhog Day!!

Grant Tirrell, Web Layout Editor

Today on February 2nd, 2023, Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his den and found his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter for the residents of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. 

The Groundhog Day tradition traces its roots back to early Pennsylvanian settlers, who brought with them a German tradition of checking if badgers cast shadows when coming out of the ground to predict the coming weather. 


Different areas of North America often have their own regional variants of Punxsutawney Phil, such as Milltown Mel in New Jersey or Ohio’s Buckeye Chuck. In Florida, officials at Florida Keys Aquarium Encounter have begun a tradition centering around a conch (which saw its shadow this year as well.)  But few are more popular than Phil himself as crowds exceeding 40,000 people have gathered in his town to hear his prediction since 1886. This year, thousands gathered beginning at 6:00am EST both in person and virtually to watch the ceremony. The town’s gatherings have exploded in popularity since the 1993 Bill Murray movie ‘Groundhog Day’ in which the day is the subject of the film.


While meteorologists note that the groundhog isn’t really an accurate way to predict the weather, North American citizens everywhere tune in to the annual tradition to hear the groundhog’s verdict.