An early spring? Phil says so

Published 8:38 am Friday, February 2, 2024

Today, Friday, Feb. 2, is Groundhog Day. When Punxsutawney Phil was taken from his den at Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania, this morning he did not see his shadow.

Or so said his handlers. Per tradition, that means the ’hog has predicted an early spring.

Woody the Woodchuck — the traditional prognosticator in Howell, Michigan — disagrees, however. He did not remain outside his tree-stump home the traditional 30 seconds, but ambled back inside, pronouncing his decision that winter would continue a bit longer.

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Then there’s Scramble the Duck in northeastern Connecticut, whose handlers say has been 100-percent accurate ever since his first prediction in 2015. He did not see his shadow on the red carpet in front of his little white home, a sign that spring was coming early.

Georgia’s groundhog, General Beauregard Lee, left his home near Atlanta just long enough to confirm an early spring — no shadow seen — and return inside to his nap.

Yet another groundhog made his prediction in Wisconsin for an early spring. Sun Prairie Jimmy didn’t see his shadow and has an extremely high accuracy rate on his predictions, according to his town’s webpage.

Also agreeing for an early spring were Woodstock Willie — Woodstock, Illinois’ groundhog — and Staten Island Chuck, called the world’s most accurate predicting groundhog.

Portland, Oregon’s Stumptown Fil — a beaver — and Las Vegas’ Mojave Max — a desert tortoise — will make their predictions when they are good and ready.

For those who don’t look to animals to predict the weather, the Old Farmer’s Almanac has predicted an early spring, with warm temperatures arriving before March 19, the official first day of the season.