Forget About Phil: Here Are 7 Other Famous Groundhogs Who Predict Weather

RealClear Contributor


The sun doesn't only shine (or not shine) on a small Pennsylvania town every February. It also shines on groundhogs in Georgia, Canada and Texas. They live in beautiful mansions, old logs and specially-made cabins, and they live to predict the weather all over North America.

General Beauregard Lee

Only his friends call him Beau. To everyone else, this luxurious groundhog is known as General. He lives on a plantation in Georgia and has his own beautiful southern-style mansion. The mini mansion has its own water fountain and a satellite dish, along with the pretty front verandah where the General groundhog takes his afternoon strolls. His groundhog hotline opens officially every Feb. 2 at 6 am, so you can call him to hear his prediction. Beau holds two honorary doctorate degrees and has a rather stunning 94 percent accuracy rate.

Staten Island Chuck

Staten Island Chuck is perhaps best-known for biting New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg during a 2009 Groundhog Day celebration. He has his own cabin at the zoo, and boasts an 80 percent accuracy rate. You can follow him on Twitter to read his thoughts on winter, weather and life at the zoo.

Shubenacadie Sam

Want to get your weather news first? Sam is the earliest groundhog weather predictor because of his location in Nova Scotia, Canada. He's also a reality TV star who maintains a constant webcam feed of his daily life, which he lives out in a hollow log. 

Sir Walter Wally

Sir Walter has a pretty good accuracy record at 58 percent, and is quick to point out that he's been more accurate than his northern competition, Phil (who's right about 37 percent of the time). Sir Walter is a resident of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science, so he's a very learned groundhog.

Balzac Billy

A resident of Calgary, Alberta, Balzac Billy is known as the Prairie Prognosticator. He's also not a groundhog. Balzac Billy is the most unusual of weather forecasters on the list, because he's a guy in a costume. Oh, Canada.

T-Boy the Nutria

Go to the Louisiana Swamp Exhibit at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans to shoot the breeze with T-Boy. He predicts the weather around these parts because the Gulf Coast is too darn hot for groundhogs. T-Boy is a nutria, a giant aquatic rodent, who also predicts the weather. Like his groundhog relatives, T-Boy looks for his shadow to predict when spring will arrive.

Penelope and Olivia

They're not groundhogs, they're Guinea hogs, and therefore they don't rely upon shadows for their weather. These residents of the Houston Zoo carefully deliberate between a blue ball and a beach ball. The cold blue ball represents more winter, while the colorful beach ball signifies an early spring. For the past several years, the Houston Zoo has used different types of pigs and hogs to make their winter prediction. Since the average annual low temperature in winter in Houston is nearly 60 degrees, it doesn't much matter either way.

When's Winter Ending?

According to "The Farmer's Almanac," a weather predictor since 1792, the 2017 winter will end precisely 46 days after Groundhog Day...on March 21, 2017. Share this story, and this prediction, with all your friends!



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