February 25, 2018

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Punxsutawney Phil Sees His Shadow, Winter Will Forge On

04 February 2018

According to folklore, if the weather is cloudy when Phil emerges from his burrow on Gobbler's Knob, around two miles from Punxsutawney in Pennsylvania, then spring will come early.

Parts of the USA are in for six more weeks of winter, according to weather-predicting groundhogs in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Georgia.

Because it's actually here for six more weeks, according to groundhog Punxsutawney Phil.

"Do we really know what the winds are out in the Pacific 500 feet above the ocean?" asked Matthew Rosencrans, head of forecasting operations at the government's Climate Prediction Center.

"February 2nd is an exciting day for Punxsutawney as the nation turns to the charming town to celebrate this cherished Pennsylvania tradition", said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf.

Aaron DeNu told The Washington Post newspaper that every year his groundhog predicts "six more weeks of political gridlock...and so far, he's always been right". And just for the record, this is not the first time Phil has been wrong.

Since 2010, Phil has only predicted an early arrival of spring three times. So if Phil "predicts" a long winter, that's probably true - somewhere in the world. He has seen his shadow 103 times compared to not seeing his shadow 18 times.

The 2018 Groundhog Day celebration drew thousands of watchers in 11-degree weather in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, who waited overnight, bundled in blankets and heavy coats, only to be disappointed.

However, Groundhog Day became a tradition over 130 years ago - dating back to 1880s.

The day hws been made popular by the 1993 comedy film "Groundhog Day" starring Bill Murray. Given Phil's percentages, this is controversial. There is no record from 10 Groundhog Days.

The holiday stems from a German holiday known as Candlemas Day, which celebrated the ritual purification of Mary during the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox.

Although groundhogs have an average lifespan of six to eight years, it's still fun to believe Phil has discovered the key to living a long and healthy life.

Punxsutawney Phil Sees His Shadow, Winter Will Forge On