Phil Says More Winter Weather

2022 marks the 136th annual Groundhog Day. It originated on February 2, 1887 when Clymer Freas proposed the idea to members of his Gobbler’s Knob community. The old Pennsylvania Dutch superstition they practiced said that if a groundhog came out of his burrow on a bright day and was able to see his shadow, then he would go back inside which declares six more weeks of winter. However, if it is a cloudy day that prevents a shadow from being seen then spring will come early. 


Punxsutawney Phil is the most notable groundhog on the job, with claims of holding the position since the holiday’s inception. Of course, there are other groundhogs around the country that also serve as meteorologists in their communities. Some examples of other celebrity groundhogs are Staten Island Chuck, who was accidentally dropped during a 2014 ceremony, Jimmy the Groundhog from Wisconsin, who bit a reporter in the face in 2015, and Milltown Mel from New Jersey, who tragically passed away a day prior to his big prediction.  

Barry Reeger via

This year, the masses came out to support Phil and his predictions. After the reduced capacity in 2021 due to the pandemic, fans were excited to get back into the audience. Everyone looked especially festive in all their groundhog gear which included hats, shirts, and signs. After welcoming announcements from the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s inner circle members, Phil finally emerged around 7:20 AM. He was able to spot his shadow, indicating winter would last for another six weeks. 


So far, this prediction seems to be accurate as more winter weather is set to travel through the Midwest up to the Northeast over the weekend. Winter storm Landon is forecasting heavy snow and dangerous ice along a 2,000 mile stretch. The National Weather Service has issued numerous warnings, watches, and advisories spanning from Colorado to Maine. Travel will likely be restricted and power outages may also occur in those areas. As for Newport News, rain will be the only precipitation we will encounter.