The real deal With Punxsutawney Phil

The real deal With Punxsutawney Phil

The headline reads: "Punxsutawney Phil predicts six more weeks of winter!" That darn rodent! Looks like the possible snow (as light as it may be) in store for later this week could be right on cue with the continued cold as well. Coincidence? Truth? Is there any validity to this little guy's predictions?

Every year, we eagerly (well, some of us do anyway) wait to see if the groundhog sees his shadow or not. For those not too familiar, the lore is: if he sees his shadow, six more weeks of winter left; if he doesn't, we can expect an early spring. Doesn't sound too scientific, now does it? Truth is -- and not surprisingly so -- it's not.

Since 1887, we've celebrated Groundhog Day in this country. In a rural area in Pennsylvania, the groundhog emerges from his hole, which is known as Gobbler's knob. It's become a tradition, a legend almost, and one that some people sometimes take too seriously. After all, the "same Phil" has been making these predictions all these years, yet it is known that groundhogs live on average for about six years. (Ok, that was a bit of a downer, but I digress…)

Last year, he saw his shadow as well. And what a winter it was. The constant cold and snow plagued many parts of this country well into March. So, there's a win for #teamphil.

However, in 2013, Phil brightened our February 2 with the promise of an early spring. A promise that was broken with cold and snow gripping the nation well into early (official) spring. No win there, Phil.

Statistically, Phil predicted an early spring only 18 times out of 119, and more importantly—has been wrong 39 percent of the time. Which technically means, you have a better chance of taking his predictions, reversing them, and believing that. Of course, I'm not hating on the little guy, but this goes to show how little to no meteorology goes into anything related to Punxsutawney Phil. Still, it's a fun tradition that if anything, gets the water cooler conversation going!

Remember, for some better than 39 percent correct predictions, keep it close to WMC Action News 5 for all your weather needs!

Meteorologist Andrew Kozak