Each year, thousands of people gather from the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, USA to see a groundhog up close and predict how long winter will last in the Northern Hemisphere.
Due to the pandemic, the tradition, known as Groundhog Day and repeated since 1887, will be virtual this year – this Tuesday (2) the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil will leave his lair without an audience present.
According to tradition, if the groundhog returns to the den to see its own shadow, the winter will last another six weeks. If she doesn’t see her shadow, it means spring is coming.
The northeast of the USA is facing heavy snowfall on Monday (1st), with snow covering several areas, interrupting traffic and even suspending the vaccination campaign against Covid-19.
Organizers of the event at the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club said “No personal appearances or guests will be allowed on the pitch.” The live stream begins at 6.30am (8.30am Brasilia time) at this link.
The rodent – which is replaced and renamed every time the animal dies – predicted a longer winter 78% of the time. According to Noaa (National Centers for Environmental Information), Phil has been right 50% of the time over the past ten years – that is, a success rate equal to that of a forecast random.