Arts Post
Posted at 08:47 AM ET, 02/01/2012

Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil is not the only predictor out there

Soon enough, the world will learn whether or not to expect six more weeks of winter, thanks to the weather predictions of Punxsutawney Phil, the most famous groundhog in the world. In the meantime, the world can ready itself for the groundhog’s big debut with this numerical look at what makes Groundhog’s Day one of America’s quirkiest holidays.


Punxsutawney Phil sits on the shoulder of official groundhog handler John Griffith after making his annual Groundhog Day prediction on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., 2011. (Jason Cohn - Reuters)

126: The number of times Punxsutawney Phil has predicted the weather, as of Feb. 2, 2012.

100%: Accuracy rate of Punxsutawney Phil, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

39%: Accuracy rate of Punxsutawney Phil according to Stam Zervanos, a professor emeritus of biology at Pennsylvania State University, Berks College, who has studied groundhog hibernation.

• 60: Number of weeks of winter Punsatawney Phil threatened to impose on America during Prohibition, if he wasn’t allowed a drink.

25+: Number of alternative groundhogs across North America — though none is as famous as Punxsutawney Phil. Other groundhogs include “Sutton Sammy” in Ontario, “Chuckles” of Manchester, Conn., “Shubenacadie Sam” in Nova Scotia, “Staten Island Chuck,” and “General Beauregard Lee,” of Lilburn, Ga.

8:30 a.m.: February 2, 8:30 a.m. to be precise. Potential debut of Potomac Phil, D.C.’s first weather-predicting groundhog. Resident Aaron DeNu is searching for a live groundhog by Thursday to become Potomac Phil (He’s already procured a stuffed groundhog, but is unsure of how a stuffed groundhog would be able to see its own shadow). Potomac Phil will predict the length of winter in D.C.’s Dupont Circle.

49: Number of states that celebrate Groundhog Day. Because there are few groundhogs in Alaska, the state celebrates Marmot Day. The 2009 bill that declared Feb. 2 Marmot Day was signed by then-governor Sarah Palin.

7 years: Number of years Punxsutawney Phil’s life is extended each time he drinks a “magical elixir” given to him by the Punxsutawney Inner Circle. That is how the Punxsutawney groundhog Club says that Phil has been able to outlive the normal six-to-eight-year lifespan of a groundhog.

38: Number of days depicted in the movie “Groundhog Day” either partially or in full.

3,176: Number of days that Bill Murray’s character spent trapped in Groundhog Day in the eponymous movie, according to blogger wolfgnards.

12,403: Number of days that Bill Murray’s character spent trapped in Groundhog Day, according to blogger Simon Gallagher in WhatCulture.

2: Number of times a groundhog bit Bill Murray’s fingers during the filming of the movie.

WATCH: GROUNDHOG PREDICTED EARLY SPRING IN 2011

By  |  08:47 AM ET, 02/01/2012

 
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