Groundhog Day prediction: Six more weeks of winter

Weather: Big changes around the corner as February arrives!

Weather prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter during Groundhog Day celebrations in Pennsylvania on Friday.

The family members had already been to see Punxsutawney Phil, but wanted to go to a more family-friendly Groundhog Day event this year, she said, adding there had been more drinking at the Pennsylvania town's festivities.

Since 1887, the groundhog has seen his shadow 103 times, to forecast a longer winter, and not seen it 18 times, to predict an early spring. However, if he sees a bit of cloudiness, then spring will arrive early, and everyone can take their tops off. Here, Phil's faithful followers wait for the 20-pound rodent to exit from the tree stump and give his highly anticipated message. Punxsutawney Phil's handlers announced at sunrise Friday what kind of weather they say the rodent is predicting for the rest of winter.

Groundhog Day enthusiasts descended on Punxsutawney, PA, for the 132nd edition of the annual tradition. According to data from Stormfax Almanac, the groundhog is only right about 39 percent of the time.

First Celebration: The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club credits The Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper with printing the first observance in 1886 followed the next year by the first trek to Gobbler's Knob. It's also the setting for the classic 1993 Bill Murray film Groundhog Day, where weatherman Phil Connors lives the same day over and over.

While the stump on Gobbler's knob is what he's known for, a groundhog of Phil's status demands a greater living space.

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Legend says that Punxsutawney Phil was actually named after King Phillip. The two can be viewed from the sidewalk outside of the library or inside from the children's reading area.

Phil's proclamation was translated by the president of the Inner Circle - the only person who understands the "Groundhogese" language - according to The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

"There were groundhog earrings, shirts, things to stimulate the economy".

Thankfully, the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center has a much better forecasting record. All hail, Punxsutawney Phil! It never really changes. Meanwhile, in New York City, Staten Island Chuck declared an early spring is on the way.

While enjoying an early spring might sound like a good idea for outdoor activities, it can wreak havoc on agriculture, in particular when it comes to tricking crops into blooming early.

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