YORK, Pa. — If the meteorologists are right, the nation's most famous groundhog is set to predict an early spring on Groundhog Day, which falls on Friday this year. In fact, he might be covered in a dusting of snow.
Punxsutawney Phil is a prognosticating groundhog based in this small town of about 6,000 people in west central Pennsylvania. If Phil sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather. If he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring.
That's how the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club describes the Feb. 2 tradition, marking the midway point of winter.
Is the tradition scientific? Absolutely not.
Are there other furry, weather-predicting animals? Certainly.
But the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club has declared Phil the authoritative groundhog in this quirky myth.
What's the forecast?
Forecasters predict clouds and snow for Friday in Punxsutawney.
The National Weather Service predicts a bitterly cold day with a high of 18 degrees and a 50% chance of snow in the morning.
The Weather Channel predicts snow, but is less confident, placing it at a 20% chance. The channel also predicts highs in the upper teens.
Accuweather isn't predicting snow, but it does predict clouds and a cold temperature in the teens.
Local news is on the same page: WJAC-TV predicts temps in the teens and a 40% chance of morning snow showers.
But Groundhog Day is still several days out, and forecasts can certainly change — or be wrong.
How do I watch?
A broadcast will be available on VisitPa's website: visitpa.com/groundhog-day-live-stream/
What else should I know?
You should know there are a lot of weird traditions surrounding Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney. A. Lot.
And you should know there are a few explanations for why a sunny day means a prediction of more winter.
Follow Joel Shannon on Twitter: @JoelShannonYDR