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

LETTER: Empathy needed in society

Arts and cultural activities teach the value of understanding others

EDITORIAL: Providing power

More charging stations will be needed as demand for electric vehicles grows

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

‘His kids were No. 1’: Wife remembers man shot dead in Kamloops

Wife of Kamloops shooting victim describes him as loving, hardworking family man

LETTER: 5G wireless communication comes with risks

No safety research has been done about new global communications service

Residents of Oliver OK with 9 per cent tax increase

The increase is a result of the cost of policing being turned over to the town

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

Thieves steal bottles, mattress from recycle depot

Chase RCMP still investigating theft of tires, generator from commercial garage

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Regional district seeks $13 million to get rolling on Rail Trail

Federal grant would pay for a paved path from Sicamous to Armstrong

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Cold War Cabaret offers song, slam poetry and sock puppets

Devon More returns to Shuswap with Berlin Waltz, March 16

Shuswap athletes help Team BC to podium at Canada Winter Games

Speed-skater wins bronze, ringette player contributes to playoff victory

Most Read