He saw his shadow: Punxsutawney Phil predicts 6 more weeks of winter

PUNSXUTAWNEY, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog made his annual appearance early Friday morning and what he had to say was met with some boos.

Shivering in the cold, Punsxutawney Phil saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter are ahead.

Legend has it if a furry rodent casts a shadow on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, expect six more weeks of winter-like weather. If not, expect spring-like temperatures.

The prediction really isn’t surprising considering records dating back to 1887 show Phil has favored winter considerably more than it’s slightly warmer counterpart. He’s predicted winter now 103 times while forecasting spring just 18. No records exist for the remaining years.

This tradition started in Europe as Candlemas Day. Germans who settled in Pennsylvania in the 1700s brought the custom to America.

Over the years Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil, whose full name is “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary”, has grown into a household name.  He’s even rubbed elbows with the likes of President Ronald Reagan and Oprah Winfrey.

And of course, who could forget Columbia Pictures’ “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray. In the years following the release of the movie, crowds numbering as high as 30,000 have visited Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney.

While he might be the most well-known, there are several other states that celebrate their own groundhogs.  In Georgia, they have General Beauregard Lee and Buckeye Chuck in Ohio.