Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil sees 6 more weeks of winter

Phil’s prediction is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler’s Knob

Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog foresees no early end to winter.

The handlers of Punxsutawney Phil said the furry rodent has called for six more weeks of winter after seeing his shadow at dawn Friday.

The top hat-wearing members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle reveal Phil’s forecast every Feb. 2. It is based on a German legend surrounding Candlemas. The legend says if a furry rodent casts a shadow that day, winter continues. If not, spring comes early.

In reality, Phil’s prediction is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler’s Knob, a tiny hill just outside Punxsutawney about 65 miles (about 100 kilometres) northeast of Pittsburgh.

Thousands of people gathered overnight to await the forecast, bundled up against the cold and entertained by folk music and a fireworks display, with temperatures around 11 degrees (minus-12 Celsius).

The groundhog’s prediction is typically contained in a short poem.

“Up early this morning. Far from home. Are you searching for the Phil-osopher’s stone? Well, even my best friends, they don’t know. Is it an early spring or just more snow,” the proclamation read. “My faithful followers, your hands (and my paws) are getting cold so here is my forecast. Not lead, but solid gold: I see my royal Shadow! Six more weeks of Winter to go!”

Records dating to 1887 show Phil has now predicted more winter 103 times while forecasting an early spring just 18 times — including last year. There are no records for the remaining years.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Victoria cannabis advocates call proposed trust fund an ‘overreach’

BCICA says North Saanich councillor’s ideas on cannabis ‘cherry picking’

BC BUDGET: Fare freeze and free travel for seniors on BC Ferries

A complete fare freeze will be put into place on major routes, and fares will be rolled back on smaller routes by 15 per cent

BC BUDGET: New spaces a step to universal child care

Fees reduced for licensed daycare operators

BC BUDGET: NDP cracks down on speculators, hidden ownership

Foreign buyers’ tax extended to Fraser Valley, Okanagan, Vancouver Island

BC BUDGET: Payroll tax replaces medical premiums

Health spending to increase $1.5 billion for drugs, primary care teams

Victoria curling team headed to B.C. Winter Games hoping for a podium finish

Great team chemistry and a former coach of the year are a recipe for success.

Widow of avalanche victim sues Golden lodge operator

A woman from Alberta is suing guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence

BC BUDGET: NDP hope to nix court delays with $15 million cash influx

Union says funding could stop sheriffs from leaving for higher paid jobs

BC Cattlemen’s Association calls for remediation of firebreaks to prevent erosion, spread of invasive species

Other concerns are fencing restoration and repair, and a lack of feed for cattle.

Patrick Brown’s Tory leadership bid fate looms

Brown’s bid to for Tory leadership to be decided on Wednesday

Duncan cousins found guilty of aggravated sexual assault

Assault so violent, victim required surgery

Alberta shrugs off B.C. legal challenge on wine ban

The potential fine Alberta faces for violating free trade rules according to economic development minister

Yelling vulgar slur at reporter not a crime says judge

Judge rules ‘vulgar’ slur against reporter was not a public disturbance

B.C. runner takes silver at Pan American cross-country championships

Tyler Dozzi’s medal pushes U20 Team Canada to gold finish

Most Read