Punxsutawney Phil’s Groundhog Day prediction accuracy rate calculated

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 5:52 PM EST
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PUNXSUTAWNEY, Penn. (WOIO) - Phil the groundhog in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania continued the yearly prediction as to whether or not spring will come early or if winter will last another six weeks.

His 2023 prediction was that winter would stick around for another six weeks based on him seeing his shadow.

This has been a long-standing tradition since the 1800s here in the United States, but it begs the question, how accurate are his predictions?

Since we have been keeping records, with the exception of nine years early in our recording history, Phil has not seen his shadow only 20 times.

This year marked 108 times that Phil has seen his shadow, predicting another six weeks of winter.

To verify whether or not his predictions have been accurate, we look at temperatures across the country during the months of February and March.

We calculate the average temperature across the continental United States for February and March and see when combined if the overall deviation from average was warmer or colder.

If warmer than average and Phil predicted an early spring, it would be a forecast verification for him. If cooler than average and Phil predicted another six weeks of winter, it would be a forecast verification for him.

Any other combination would indicate that his forecast did not verify.

Just looking at the last 30 years, Punxsutawney Phil’s success rate was only around 37%.

YearSee His Shadow?Compared to Average for February and MarchPrediction Verify?
2022YesAbove AverageNo
2021YesAbove AverageNo
2020NoAbove AverageYes
2019NoBelow AverageNo
2018YesAbove AverageNo
2017YesAbove AverageNo
2016NoAbove AverageYes
2015YesAbove AverageNo
2014YesBelow AverageYes
2013NoSlightly Above AverageYes
2012YesAbove AverageNo
2011NoSlightly Above AverageYes
2010YesSlightly Above AverageNo
2009YesAbove AverageNo
2008YesAbove AverageNo
2007NoAbove AverageYes
2006YesAbove AverageNo
2005YesAbove AverageNo
2004YesAbove AverageNo
2003YesSlightly Above AverageNo
2002YesSlightly Above AverageNo
2001YesSlightly Above AverageNo
2000YesAbove AverageNo
1999NoAbove AverageYes
1998YesAbove AverageNo
1997NoAbove AverageYes
1996YesSlightly Below AverageYes
1995NoAbove AverageYes
1994YesSlightly Above AverageNo
1993YesBelow AverageYes

While Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions may not be the most accurate, it will still remain a beloved early February tradition in the United States.

As for an accurate temperature forecast through the remaining nearly six weeks of winter, stick with the Certified Most Accurate 19 First Alert Weather Team to keep you updated on the latest weather conditions expected across Northeast Ohio.