Happy Groundhog Day and The IFOD Turns Six!

by | Feb 2, 2023


Groundhog Day is my third favorite holiday (behind Thanksgiving and Christmas). I love it not because I believe that Punxsutawney Phil can predict winter’s duration but because I think the notion that a large rodent has weather-predicting abilities is hilarious. It is its ridiculous nature that I love. Here’s a few fun facts about Groundhogs and Groundhog Day.

How Good of a Forecaster is Phil?

How does Punxsutawney Phil do in predicting the remaining duration of winter? Sorry to burst your bubble if you rely on Phil’s predictions to plan your life but groundhogs can’t predict the weather. An analysis by the National Climatic Data Center found there is no correlation between Phil’s predictions and the actual weather. According to Stormfax, “Phil has delivered a correct forecast approximately 39% of the time since he first tried his hand at meteorology in 1887.”

Phil’s Full Name is Mouthful

Phil’s full name, granted by the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, is Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary. Source.

Phil is Married

Phil has a wife. Her name is Phyllis. They live at the Punxsutawney Memorial Library.

They Are Also Called Whistle-Pigs

Groundhogs are also known as “Whistle-Pigs” because of the high-pitched sound which they make to warn other groundhogs of a threat and to attract mates. Whistlepig is also the brand of some of the best rye whiskey you can buy.

Groundhogs are Actually Large Squirrels

Groundhogs can weigh up to 15 pounds and belong to the same taxonomic group as squirrels, marmots, chipmunks, and prairie dogs.

And the IFOD Turns Six Today

Groundhogs typically live 6-8 years. And the IFOD, birthed on Groundhog Day 2017, turns six today!

Over the past six years, I’ve published 920 IFODs which have received nearly 1 million pageviews (955,496). I used to publish an IFOD five days a week, but I slowed that pace a few years ago when I was writing my book (which is out on May 2nd!!!) — I only publish it twice a week now.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Happy anniversary! May a shadow never darken IFOD’s door.

  2. One of the BEST ways to help bolster interest in a new book / new author is by Pre-Ordering their book. Pre-ordering drives publisher promotion, NYTimes bestseller data, etc. Not sure how much John will self-promote, so I will state this here – go pre-order his book!


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