Groundhogs say 6 more weeks of winter

04 February, 2018, 02:05 | Author: Jeffery Armstrong
  • Punxsutawney Phil

We compiled the average temperature in Columbia for the six weeks after Groundhog Day and found Punxsutawney's accuracy has been 36% since 1950.

On Friday, Americans across the nation learned the fate of spring 2018 as news cameras and onlookers gather3e around groundhog Punxsutawney Phil in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to find out how much longer we can expect winter to last.

In the end, you must choose: Will you trust a groundhog or your WFAA Weather Team?

The standing Punxsutawney Groundhog Club president is the only person able to interpret Phil's official language known as "Groundhogese".

The weird tradition of asking groundhogs what they think about the arrival of spring weather is an imported idea from Germany, where they originally used European badgers for the task.

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Since 2010, Phil has only predicted an early arrival of spring three times.

Early Friday morning, Phil crawled out of his home in Pennsylvania to see none other than his shadow!

Punxsutawney Phil, Chuck's most notorious rival, usually disagrees with him - and this year is no different.

Last year, he predicted six more weeks of winter but we got a bunch of warm weather.

Groundhog Day is probably more synonymous with the Bill Murray movie of the same name than the actual celebration itself. These Germans who traveled to the USA and settled in Pennsylvania continued to practice the tradition where they changed the animal from a hedgehog to a groundhog, because of a large population of the latter in Pennsylvania. People have been gathering at the same spot ever since. In 1887 a local newspaper editor declared Phil, whose full title is "Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary", to be the United States' only true weather-forecasting groundhog.

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Revelers bear frigid cold temperatures and gather at Gobbler's Knob from as early as 1am that morning, waiting for the appearance of the furry critter. Phil sees his shadow about 85 percent of the time.

Anyway, it was a relatively unknown tradition occurring only in certain parts of America and Canada, and then they went and made a film about it.

The event now attracts up to 30,000 visitors to Punxsutawney, Jefferson County, located about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Doug Sacrison traveled over 4,000 kilometers from Washington State this year to attend his first Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney. And with that, preparations for Groundhog Day 2019 are officially underway. Andie MacDowell stars as Murray's love interest and producer Rita.

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