Is the Groundhog Forecast Rigged?

It’s that time of year again -- Groundhog Day is Friday. The official forecast for Punxsutawney Phil (in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania) calls for cloudy skies. But get this: it doesn’t matter! He almost always sees his shadow.

Since 1887 (man, Phil is old), he’s seen his shadow 103 times! There were only 18 mornings that he did not see his shadow. Nine times there was no record. (The official record keeper had one job!)

Since seeing his shadow means six more weeks of winter, it’s clear that Phil has a cold weather bias. It’s a bit ridiculous if you ask me. (I mean, do they even check to see if his eyes are open?!)

Case in point: last year was overcast with flurries -- and he saw his shadow. The year before that was clear -- and no shadow. Take a look at the records for yourself.

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One could conclude from these records that the actual weather has nothing to do with whether or not he’ll see his shadow. Of course with all the lights, cameras, and media it seems impossible for him not to see a shadow.

So yes, my suspicion is that it’s rigged and they decide Phil’s forecast ahead of time. (I know, those are probably fightin’ words up there in Gobbler’s Knob!)

Trust me, I’m not a curmudgeon when it comes to Groundhog Day. I think it’s a fun tradition and would like to visit in person someday. I just think it’s rigged.

We’ll see tomorrow morning when he shouldn’t see his shadow with overcast skies in the forecast.

As for Phil’s track record, he’s only accurate about 39 percent of the time. Ouch!

Whatever happens with Phil’s forecast on Groundhog Day, remember, “don’t drive angry.”

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