Punxsutawney Phil’s winter weather forecast will be announced sometime after sunrise Friday in Gobbler’s Knob, the scene of the country’s largest and most well-known Groundhog Day celebration.
The annual event is a tongue-in-cheek ritual in which Phil’s handlers, members of a club with roots in the late 19th century, reveal whether the groundhog has seen his shadow — ushering in six more weeks of winter weather — or hasn’t, presaging early springlike weather.
About 10,000 people have made their way in recent years to Punxsutawney, where festivities begin in the dead of night and culminate in the midwinter forecast.
Phil predicts more winter far more often than he sees an early spring, not a bad bet for February and March in western Pennsylvania. A federal agency took a look at his record last year and put his accuracy rate at about 40%.