BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s Groundhog Day … again. And though Punxsutawney Phil may be the big dog — er, ‘hog — when it comes to the annual February event, Western New York has its own version of the tradition in Dunkirk Dave. So which rodent meteorologist is more accurate?
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Phil has a 39% all-time success rate, staying on-par with that number over the past decade, getting 40% of predictions right from 2012 to 2021.
News 4’s Adam Gorski looked at how both groundhogs have fared since records became available online for Dunkirk Dave in 2000, analyzing how the groundhogs’ predictions compared to the NOAA’s average temperature for the United States in February and March.
While his predictions have been recorded online since 2000, Dunkirk Dave has been checking for his shadow for over 50 years. Punxsutawney Phil has been participating in the tradition since 1887, seeing his shadow 106 times and not seeing it 20 times, with 10 years not being recorded by the Groundhog Club.
Since the turn of the millennium, Dunkirk Dave has a 47.8% accuracy rate, and though the Groundhog Club says Punxsutawney Phil has never been wrong, according to NOAA numbers, he has a 30.4% success rate. See Gorski’s full analysis of the groundhogs’ forecasts below.
According to the Groundhog Club, there’s only ever been one Phil since the first celebration, as Phil drinks the “elixir of life,” a secret recipe, every summer at the Groundhog Picnic, magically giving him seven more years of life.
Adam Duke is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of his work here.
Adam Gorski is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team in 2022. You can find more of his work here.