SEVERE WX: Winter Weather Advisory - Blizzard Warning View Alerts
CLOSINGS: View Closings

Groundhog Day Fast Facts

Here's some background information about Groundhog Day, an Am...

Posted: Jan. 26, 2018 12:30 AM
Updated: Jan. 26, 2018 12:30 AM

Here's some background information about Groundhog Day, an American tradition that is meant to predict when spring will arrive.

February 2, 2018 - Groundhog Day.

Facts: February 2 is Groundhog Day.

The groundhog wakes up from hibernation on February 2.

If the groundhog sees its shadow when it emerges from its burrow, there will be six more weeks of winter.

If it does not see its shadow, spring will arrive soon.

This tradition started in Europe as Candlemas Day. Germans who settled in Pennsylvania in the 1700s brought the custom to America.

Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil is the most well-known, but more than a dozen states celebrate with their own groundhogs, such as Georgia's General Beauregard Lee and Buckeye Chuck in Ohio.

Punxsutawney Phil - in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania His full name is "Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary.''

February 2, 1886 - The Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper proclaims this date as Pennsylvania's first official Groundhog Day celebration.

Phil has correctly predicted the beginning of spring 100% of the time, according to his owners. However, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the ground hog shows "no predictive skill" for the last few years.

1986 - Phil travels to Washington, DC to meet with President Ronald Reagan.

1993 - Columbia Pictures releases the movie, "Groundhog Day," starring Bill Murray.

In the years following the release of the movie, crowds numbering as high as 30,000 have visited Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney.

1995 - Phil appears on the Oprah Winfrey show.

January 27, 2010 - The animal rights group PETA suggests using a robotic groundhog in place of Punxsutawney Phil.

February 2, 2010 - For the first time, fans can register for a text message alert of Phil's prediction.

February 2, 2017 - Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter.

Article Comments

Mason City
Overcast
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 11°
Feels Like: 26°
Albert Lea
Overcast
30° wxIcon
Hi: 32° Lo: 10°
Feels Like: 30°
Austin
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 35° Lo: 12°
Feels Like: 31°
Charles City
Overcast
32° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 12°
Feels Like: 24°
Rochester
Overcast
31° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 12°
Feels Like: 24°
Tracking ice accumulations to start your weekend and heavy snow and wind to end it.
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

West Hancock girls take flight for state

Image

Prep basketball highlights from Southern Minnesota

Image

North Iowa basketball highlights

Image

What's worse? Skeetas or Snow?

Image

Highlights: North Iowa Bulls at Rochester Grizzlies

Image

Section 1AA swimming finals

Image

Finally enough snow to snowmobile

Image

Minnesota individual section wrestling quarterfinals

Image

Finding new housing options

Image

Windows shot out in Austin

Community Events