Punxsutawney Phill isn't the Only Weather Prognosticator in the United States

Written by Mary Wasson, Meteorologist

Last updated 2/2/2024, 7:09:43 PM

Every February 2nd, a large crowd of people gather at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to see a special forecast from a groundhog, named Phil. 

Folklore states that if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, the country will be in store for six more weeks of winter, but if he doesn’t, we can expect warmer temperatures and the arrival of an early spring.

This groundhog tradition originated in the late 1880s, and over the decades, it has become a forecasting staple in our culture.

Even though he’s been forecasting for over a century, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information, Phil’s track record isn’t perfect. Over the last 10 years, they compared U.S. national temperatures with his forecast. On average, Phil has gotten it right about 30% of the time.

This year, he did not see his shadow, which means he’s forecasting an early spring, so we shall see.

Other Animal Forecasters

The Oregon Zoo says their hedgehog, FuFu, has been making predictions for the last few years. According to German folklore, when the hedgehog saw his shadow on Candlemas Day there would be a “second winter”. The Oregon Zoo also has Stumptown Fil, a beaver, who has been forecasting the weather since 2020, and this year he says an early spring!

For 10 years the folks from Brevard, North Carolina have turned to Pisgah Penny, the white squirrel, for winter outlooks and Super Bowl winner.

This year, she proclaimed six more weeks of winter and that the Kansas City Chiefs would be victorious on Super Bowl Sunday. 


Since 2019, Clucksatawney Henrietta, the chicken, has been giving New Yorkers the forecast on when snow and cold will leave the Big Apple. Henrietta lives at The Muscoot Farm in Katonah, NY, and instead of looking for her shadow, it depends on whether she lays an egg. Luckily, this year, there was a fresh egg first thing in the morning, meaning spring is right around the corner.

Handlers of Connecticut’s weather-predicting duck, Scramble, believe that he is the most accurate weather-predicting groundhog alternative saying his predictions have been 100% accurate. He makes predictions in Eastford, CT, on Groundhog Day, and relies on seeing his shadow for the prediction. This year, his shadow wasn’t present which is a sign of an early spring! 

What’s more fitting for Texas than to have an armadillo predict the weather? Meet Bee Cave Bob! His owners say he may not always get the forecast right, but the little guy is tough because he endures Texas’ frigid winters and extreme summer heat. This year, he also did NOT see his shadow which means an early spring!

No matter how you slice it … Spring will officially start on March 19th, just about 6 weeks away.