Punxsutawney Phil sees 6 more weeks of winter

Punxsutawney Phil

Catherine Sharman--> CC BY 2.0 Anthony Quintano Flickr

The famed Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter this morning on Groundhog Day.

Pierre C. Shadeaux, the Cajun groundhog, did NOT see his shadow this morning in New Orleans, neighbors to the south believe it means they are in for a longer spring and a slow return of the summer heat... Out of the 18 times the groundhog has predicted an early Spring, or not seen his shadow, 13 of them have occurred since 1970.

Punxsutawney Phil is set to come out of his burrow at 7:25 a.m.at Gobbler's Knob.

Punxsutawney is where Groundhog Day originated on February 2, 1886, and is where a ceremony is held every year.

Unfortunately, the difficulties faced by the meteorological marmot also bedevil human weather forecasters.

"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.

If you're sick and exhausted of winter, brace yourself for six more weeks of it. But once a year on Groundhog Day - for 132 years now - Phil is transported to a den at Gobbler's Knob, where crowds of thousands descend upon the area at sunrise to see what he foretells for the season ahead.

Even though they have endured record-breaking freezing temperatures and an unusually powerful winter storm known as a "bomb cyclone", North Americans should expect winter to stretch on, according to the furry Pennsylvania critter. From that date onwards, people have gathered at the spot every day since, which is silly, because a groundhog has zero clue what is going on at the best of times.

Maybe Punxsutawney Phil is right - forecasts seem to agree with the groundhog that winter weather is here to stay. There is no record from 10 Groundhog Days. While Phil's all-time predication accuracy is only 39 percent, he isn't the one to blame.

If Phil doesn't see his shadow, spring is around the corner.

This tradition started in Europe as Candlemas Day.

Last year, for instance, skies were overcast with light snow falling. Because of this, Phil spends the year at his house located inside the Punxsutawney Memorial Library.

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