(CNN) – Thousands of people gathered at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, on Saturday to see how a famous groundhog delivered its eagerly awaited forecast did not see its shadow and said one early spring ahead of us all.
"Loyal followers, there is no shadow of mine and it will be a beautiful spring," a member of Phil's Inner Circle read from the marmot prediction roll of applause and applause from the crowd.
If legend says that Phil sees his shadow, he sees it as an "omen" of six more bad weather weeks and returns to its hole. If it's cloudy and he does not, you can put off the winter coat earlier than expected.
But his predictions are not always correct.
The groundhog does not have the best track record
It's a tradition of Groundhog Day dating back over a century. Although Phil has worked in the weather business for over 1
To be fair, it's a pretty hard job. Trying to predict a month and a half weather for a country with very different regional climates is no small feat. Nevertheless, you think that he has now got the hang of it.
"It would be better to decide what to decide for the remainder of February and March looks like toss a coin," said CNN meteorologist Judson Jones.
But the people who know Phil the best
AJ Dereume, one of the groundhog traders, insists that Phil's predictions have a 100% accuracy rate – they are simply lost in translation.
"Phil is the one who decides whether he has seen the shadow or not, "says Dereume." It's not up to us. All we do is deliver his message. "
In any case, human forecasters have no objections to having alternative predictions if their own projections go wrong.
" People like it a bit "The weather, and the groundhog is the perfect thing to blame," Jones said. "It's better than blaming your meteorologist."
Why does a marmot make weather forecasts
 So why are Americans looking for a marmot for a weather forecast?
The tradition has its roots in a Christian religious holiday called Candlemas Day dating back to antiquity, which was celebrated midway between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox.
Over time, the tradition of integrating weather evolved. A sunny sky on February 2, superstition would mean a cold and stormy rest of winter, while a cloudy sky meant a faster warm-up.
As tradition spread to Germany, a hedgehog and its shadow sightings joined the mix. And when German settlers arrived in colonial America, they relied on the richer groundhog to work.
Fast forward to 1887, when a newspaper editor in Punxsutawney told Phil America's official weather forecast groundhog. Newspapers across the country recorded the story, and the tradition continued.
The Persistent Polar Swirl
We now know Phil's prediction – but we also have our doubts. So, what do the experts say next month or so?
For the remainder of winter, temperatures seem to be average over the next six weeks – though not below average in most parts of the country, Jones said, nodding toward a bit more winter.