Happy Groundhog Day! Yes, the 2nd of February marks the date in the American calendar when the world turns its attention to the behavioural habits of the weather predicting groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil,

In a ritual that began hundreds of years ago, thousands of Punxsutawney Phil’s disciples gather at Gobbler’s Knob, Punxsutawney, Pa in the early hours of the morning to find out whether the famous groundhog, will “see his shadow.”

The legend says, if Phil sees his shadow at 7:20 AM on Groundhog Day, we’ll see 6 more weeks of winter, and according to reports it seems Phil has spoken – Britain had better prepare for this current cold snap to continue long in to March because in the last few minutes Phil ‘saw his shadow’.

Luckily, the famous groundhog’s reliability has already been called in to question. Although the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club claiming that Phil has a faultless 100% accuracy rating, other, slightly more scientific sources claim otherwise. 

Stam Zervanos, a professor emeritus of biology at Pennsylvania State University, Berks College, who has studied groundhog hibernation, states that Phil’s predictions are only right 39% time. So there may be hope for an early Spring yet.

Despite revellers marking the day since 5am this morning, it seems the man himself is a little underwhelmed with all the fuss surrounding this special day, Groundhog Phil’s said through his official Twitter page “Fireworks, the National Anthem, dancing girls and bad lip syncing. Is this the Super Bowl or Groundhog day?”

Outside the States, Groundhog Day was probably made most famous by the classic 1993 comedy of the same name, staring Bill Murray as a disgruntled weather man who is forced to relive the same day over and over again until he manages to get himself out of it.