Make your home page

Groundhog Day 2024: Can we rely on Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast in central Indiana?

Ryan Groundhog Day 1/31

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow on Friday, Feb. 2? That is the question many across the country are anxiously awaiting the answer to. This rodent is a legend, but Hoosiers may wonder how Phil’s prior forecasts stack up to what’s actually happened in our area.

How the legend works

Every year at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, PA, Phil makes his big decision. If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, six more weeks of winter will be the forecast. If not, an early spring is upon us. Groundhog Phil has been making these predictions since 1887.

Phil’s performance in recent years for central Indiana

It is no easy task predicting the weather, we meteorologists know that. Unfortunately, Phil has been no better than the flip of the coin. Here was our average temperature in Indianapolis stretching from Feb. 3 to March 16 (six weeks after Feb. 2 in non-leap years) for the past 10 years:

For three straight years, Phil has seen his shadow. However, the following six weeks in 2022 and 2023 featured above-average temperatures, meaning an incorrect prediction. Eight of the last 10 years, Phil has seen his shadow.

Phil’s accuracy has not been the best in recent years for central Indiana. He holds a 50% accuracy rate over the last decade. Let’s hope Phil’s forecast is correct this year for the first time since 2021.

If you want more on the short-term forecast, visit our weather blog here.