Punxsutawney Phil makes his 2023 Groundhog Day prediction
Since 1887, people have gathered outside Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to see Phil make his prediction.LEARN MORE
There has only been one Punxsutawney Phil, but as the fandom grows, so does his competition.
It's that time of year again.
Every Feb. 2 since 1887, people have gathered outside Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to see Phil, the most famous weather groundhog, make his prediction.
But how did this silly tradition, loved by many, begin?
It all started when German immigrants brought the tradition with them, and it's become big business.
The 1993 comedy "Groundhog Day," starring Bill Murray, put the town on the map, but not Punxsutawney.
Woodstock, Illinois, just outside of Chicago, is where they actually shot the movie and is now home to one of Phil's main rivals. His name is Woodstock Willie, and the town claims he's "the seer of seers; the prognosticator of all prognosticators."
The town got groundhog fever, imitating Phil almost word for word. Unfortunately for Phil, Woodstock Willie is not his only competition.
Let's not forget about General Beauregard Lee, Georgia's official weather prognosticator. He struts out of his Southern mansion south of Atlanta to check his shadow.
Politicians are usually on hand to give the groundhogs a hand, literally. In 2009, Staten Island's Chuck took a bite out of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's hand.
Sadly, a few years later, Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped Chuck. Chuck died a week later.
There's a new Chuck, but now he stays in a glass case.
And just like human meteorologists, these furry rodents don't often agree with each other, announcing different weather predictions for each state.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says Punxsutawney Phil is accurate about 39% of the time.
To be fair, NOAA has not rated Chuck, Woodstock Willie or General Beauregard Lee.
And the trend has left land and reached the seas.
As there's a newcomer, a conch in the Florida Keys.
Last year, it popped out of its shell, saw its shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter — which is a toasty 80 degrees in the Keys.
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