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Is Punxsutawney Phil Correct?

Punxsutawney Phil has one of the toughest forecasting jobs, and he only does it once a year. How right are his predictions in regards to the Tennessee Valley?

Every year millions of people put the fate of an early Spring in the hands of a legendary rodent. Once a year Phil comes out of his home and makes a bold prediction. When he’s not living in his little home, does he understand the pressure he’s under? Spring or Winter? He has to forecast that!

The sad part is, that according to the calendar Spring is still weeks away! It’s not like if Phil calls for Spring then we just change the season to Spring.

After a little research, it was time to find out if Phil’s predictions are accurate in the Tennessee Valley. To decide this the Pinpoint Weather Team looked back at Phil’s predictions and compared them to the average daily high temperature in the corresponding February. We then compared that to the climatological February average.

So, for example, we looked at his prediction for 2018 then we found the average high in February 2018 and compared that to the climatological average February high. If the average for the year was lower then Winter stuck around. If the average was higher then Spring came early.

The average high temperature in February is 55.9°

YearPhil’s PredictionAverage HighResult
2018More Winter63.9°Phil was wrong
2017 More Winter 63.8° Phil was wrong
2016Early Spring56.7° Phil was right
2015 More Winter 47.0°Phil was right
2014 More Winter 52.9°Phil was right
2013 Early Spring 53.9° Phil was wrong
2012 More Winter 59.3° Phil was wrong
2011 Early Spring 58.6°Phil was right
2010 More Winter 47.0°Phil was right
2009 More Winter 57.6° Phil was wrong
2008 More Winter 56.8° Phil was wrong
2007 Early Spring 51.8° Phil was wrong
2006 More Winter 51.6°Phil was right
2005 More Winter 57.3° Phil was wrong
2004 More Winter 51.2°Phil was right
2003 More Winter 51.6°Phil was right
2002 More Winter 54.7°Phil was right
2001 More Winter 57.6° Phil was wrong
2000 More Winter 62.4° Phil was wrong

Phil was wrong 10/19 predictions. Of course, that means he was right 9/19 tries. That means Punxsutawney Phil only got 47% of predictions correct.

The conclusion? Rely on Chief Meteorologist Jordan Dressman and Meteorologist Emily Owen for all things forecast related in the Tennessee Valley.