Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania groundhog we let decide our seasons for us, is officially predicting an early spring.
On Saturday morning, the famous groundhog awoke at sunrise to celebrate Groundhog Day and did not see his shadow. This, his male handlers in top hats dramatically said, signals an early start to spring and an end to winter. But don't get too excited.
JUST IN: Punxsutawney Phil sees no shadow, predicts early spring. pic.twitter.com/BsMser58Rt
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 2, 2019
Would an early spring be nice? Sure! Especially considering temperatures have recently reached record-breaking lows in states across the country. But with the ever-present threat of climate change on the brain, reactions to Phil's verdict this year were pretty mixed.
Considering several states in America just experienced a brutally cold polar vortex, some gleefully embraced and early spring without question.
— Tom Eschen (@TomEschenJr) February 2, 2019
— Adrienne Green (@adrienne_wx) February 2, 2019
The groundhog didn’t see his shadow 🙌🏽 I 100% trust his opinion on the weather pic.twitter.com/O3MpDLSGCH
— Charnay Pickett (@CharnayPickett) February 2, 2019
But other Twitter users who've simply been burned too many times were especially reluctant to believe Punxsutawney Phil's hopeful weather reports this year.
With climate change dominating more and more headlines, many people began openly questioning this unconventional tradition, with some simply refusing to buy the rodent's hopeful weather forecast in 2019.
Groundhog says early Spring.
I don’t know if I can trust him. pic.twitter.com/PMGj3tTIXR
— Casey Wheeless (@WVLTCasey) February 2, 2019
You all don’t trust the nations best scientists on climate but you trust a groundhog’s mood to determine forthcoming weather this season?
— Audrey.🦁 (@BettercallA) February 2, 2019
Love to live in the United States, where people will trust a groundhog to predict the weather but won't trust 97 percent of climate scientists
— Delak (@Delak_Iloth) February 2, 2019
Why do we put so much trust in a rodent & weather patterns? Perhaps this groundhog isn't as trustworthy as we think he is.....
— Camille (@camille_yoho) February 2, 2019
America: The country where we deny Climate Change but trust our forthcoming weather with a groundhog #GroundhogDay
— Sidharth Rao (@Sid12Rao) February 2, 2019
why do we all trust this group of men in top hats to tell us if a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow or not and why does this decide if we get spring this year
— Liv Durbin (@liv_durbin) February 2, 2019
Phil's been wrong before, and his 2019 prediction is also in dispute after Shubenacadie Sam — the famous groundhog in Nova Scotia — just saw his shadow and predicted we're not rid of winter quite yet.
Perhaps groundhogs aren't the most reliable weather forecasters after all... so it seems we'll just have to keep our hats and gloves handy and see what the weather brings. And maybe put some more trust in the research-supported wisdom dispensed by meteorologists and climate scientists.