Groundhogs predict 6 more weeks of winter

02 February, 2018, 21:54 | Author: Kim Reid

Punxsutawney Phil, the weather-forecasting groundhog, emerged from his burrow in Pennsylvania on Friday, saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter, despite his rival Staten Island Chuck in NY predicting an early spring.

Since Sussex County residents awoke on Friday to a fresh coating of what can only be described as frozen slush, it should come as no surprise that the local prognosticator of prognosticators has officially predicted that there will be six more weeks of winter. But he's always popular.

The event is supposed to be some sort of vague prediction of the beginning of spring, and we can look back at the history of the event and determine just how accurate it is.

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Since then, thousands of spectators have gathered in Punxsutawney each year to witness the groundhog's emergence in person, watching closely for whether Phil sees his shadow or doesn't.

February 2 became the official Groundhog Day in 1887 thanks to Clymer Freas, a newspaperman in Punxsutaney, Pennsylvania.

Today a direct descendant of the Groundhog that co-starred with Bill Murray - Woodstock Willie the 7th - will make an appearance to provide his prediction for the next 6 weeks.

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Punxsutawney Phil and Staten Island Chuck aren't the only marmot weather forecasters in North America. There were ten years when his prediction has not been recorded. This year, Potomac Phil predicted six more weeks of political gridlock, a prediction few political analysts can disagree with. Phil actually speaks his prediction in a language known as "groundhogese".

Punxsutawney Phil with one of his handlers on Friday.

Many approach the festivities with a bit of hope for a new spring, but it's the winter-loving folk in the group who win out most often. Far from home. Are you searching for the Phil-osopher's stone? StormFax Almanac disagrees, claiming that the groundhog is only correct 39% of the time, a pretty bad record considering he should have a 50-50 chance at guessing.

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Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog was back in the spotlight, and he says you should keep your winter coat handy. Phil sees his shadow about 85 percent of the time. On that day, clergy would distribute candles and bless them - and if the skies were clear, it meant an extended winter was in the forecast.

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