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Punxsutawnwy Phil Vs. The Super Bowl

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WEST MICHIGAN — As we wrap up yet another snowfall across Michigan (3″ to 6″ for most of us), all attention will turn to two big events on Sunday. Super Bowl is the obvious one, but don’t forget about Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania. He’ll be checking (as he does every year) bright and early in the morning to see if he can see his shadow.

Traditionally (by Phil’s standard) seeing his shadow after emerging from his hiding place means another six weeks of winter. Not seeing his shadow means we’ll see an early Spring. It just so happens this year Phil’s prediction coincides with one of the biggest sporting events of the entire year…Superbowl Sunday. I can’t help but think some of Phil’s attention and thunder will probably be robbed because of it.

Groundhog Day has its origins in an ancient celebration of a point mid-way between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. According to the stats since 1887, Phil has seen his shadow 100 times, no shadow 17 times, and there just plain is no records for nine of those years. Take a look at the chart below complied by the National Weather Service for the past 25 years. Phil’s predictions don’t always coincide with the weather we actually experience. Of course, with the weather the nation has experienced the last couple months, he’d be good to see his shadow this year. Grand Rapids has already surpassed its seasonal snowfall totals of around 75 inches tallying more than 80 inches of snow thus far…and we still have three months to go! You can always get the complete forecast at For those of you just looking forward to watching the Super Bowl, coverage begins right here on FOX 17 at 2:00 PM. Don’t forget to catch FOX 17 News at Ten after the game.

Year Shadow February Temperature Departure March Temperature Departure
2013 No Slightly Above Slightly Below
2012 Yes Above Above
2011 No Slightly Below Slightly Above
2010 Yes Below Above
2009 Yes Above Slightly Above
2008 Yes Slightly Above Slightly Below
2007 No Below Above
2006 Yes Above Above
2005 Yes Above Slightly Above
2004 Yes Below Above
2003 Yes Below Above
2002 Yes Above Below
2001 Yes Slightly Above Tied Average
2000 Yes Above Above
1999 No Above Above
1998 Yes Above Below
1997 No Above Above
1996 Yes Above Below
1995 No Above Above
1994 Yes Below Above
1993 Yes Below Above
1992 Yes Above Above
1991 Yes Above Above
1990 No Above Above
1989 Yes Below Above
1988 No Below Above

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