6 More Weeks of Winter or Early Spring?…That is the Question


Groundhog Day 2018, or February 2nd, has boldly set a prediction for the upcoming season. This annual tradition has been celebrated for many years. On Groundhog day, if Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil sees a shadow, then that theoretically means 6 more weeks of winter; if he does not see his shadow, it technically means that we will see an early spring.

This year,  Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow, meaning that the winter season is not done yet. However, recent ups and downs in the temperature might deviate from Phil’s forecast as some days in February saw temperatures in the 60s. One can argue that the weather irony is simply due to climate change as this winter had brought us not only heavy accumulations of snow, but also a shockingly mild later winter.

Wondering how many times Phil has seen his shadow versus the times he has not? If you are a spring or summer person, this might be unwelcoming news. According to ABC, Phil has seen his shadow more than a 100 times as opposed to just 18 times since 1887. Despite some scientific skepticism, many people still continue on the 132 year tradition. According to CNN, it started out as an early Christian holiday involving candles. With some transformations, the current Groundhog Day is celebrated intensely. In fact, USA Today reports that there are even some competing groundhogs in other locations besides Pennsylvania.

Nevertheless, Groundhog Day tradition will continue on with Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil as the major symbol of the holiday.

Whitman students remark about their perspective on Groundhog Day. Freshman Saúl Ramos initially did not “understand the purpose” of Groundhog Dog. Similarly, juniors Brandon Monegro and Kevin Morrissey also did not feel passionate about the holiday as well.

Watch out! More winter should be around the corner!