Punxsutawney Phil Has Spoken

Abbie Heller, Features Editor

Early yesterday morning, the 2nd of February, a small brown marmot was entrusted with the duty of predicting our nation’s weather for the coming weeks. At 7:25 am, the immortal and wise Punxsutawney Phil stirred from his slumber, spotted his own shadow amidst the snow, and declared there would be six more weeks of winter. Call that an American tradition.

Due to the pandemic, the 135th annual Groundhog Day event was streamed live. Phil emerged in front of more than a dozen members of the Groundhog Club, all spiffed up in long coats and top hats. Typically, after he has made his prediction, he speaks to the club president in “groundhogese,” and his forecast is then translated and presented to the public. However, Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions have only been accurate 50% of the time in the last ten years.

Regardless of the groundhog’s accuracy, be prepared to bundle up in the coming weeks. That means scarves, mittens, winter coats and all, with New Jersey currently experiencing one of the biggest snowstorms of the last few years. With 30+ inches falling from the sky, it could very well break the state’s 34-inch record that has been in place since 1899.

It also raises the question: should this storm be attributed to coincidence or the hit-or-miss prophecy of the Northeast’s favorite woodchuck?