In 1887, when he made his debut as the official groundhog forecaster for the entire country, Phil saw his shadow.
It seems we won't be treated to an early spring this year, instead having to put up with winter a little while longer. That means he's predicting an early spring. The German settlers switched to groundhogs when the settlers noticed a surplus of the creatures in Pennsylvania.
While enjoying an early spring might sound like a good idea for outdoor activities, it can wreak havoc on agriculture, in particular when it comes to tricking crops into blooming early. Hibernating animals do a weather check after a stint of sleep to see if they need to bed back down or if it's warm enough to come out of hiding.
Phil has been correct about 65 percent of the time based on 117 years of available records, according to Penn Live.
Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his hole early this morning and spotted the shadow that portends ill weather till mid-March.
He famously bit former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg during the ceremony in 2009. In 1887 a local newspaper editor declared Phil, whose full title is "Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary", to be the United States' only true weather-forecasting groundhog. "Someone has to nominate you and then you need to be approved by a Groundhog Day committee".
The top hat-wearing members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club's Inner Circle reveal Phil's forecast every February 2.
How old is groundhog Phil?
The ancient German custom of Candlemas, the point midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, is what inspired what we now know as Groundhog Day.
Phil's prognostication, which was delivered at about 7:20 am EST, was met with a mix of cheers and groans from thousands of revelers on Friday who gathered in the town of Punxsutawney about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
The annual Groundhog Day event, made more popular by the 1993 comedy film "Groundhog Day" starring Bill Murray, draws faithful followers from as far away as Australia and Russian Federation.
He and his news team get caught in a blizzard and must stay in town overnight.