Groundhog says six more weeks of winter Groundhog Club handler Ron Ploucha, right, holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, as Jeff Lundy, left, reads Phil's weather proclamation of six-more weeks of winte (AP photos)
Groundhog says six more weeks of winter
Lexile

The handlers of Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, say the furry rodent has forecast six more weeks of winter.

Members of the top hat-wearing Inner Circle announced the "prediction" Monday morning.

A German legend has it that if a furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last another six weeks. If not, spring comes early.

The forecast was also announced on Twitter, as was referenced in the official proclamation read by Bill Deeley, president of the Inner Circle.

"Forecasts abound on the Internet, but, I, Punxsutawney Phil, am still your best bet. Yes, a shadow I see, you can start to Twitter, hash tag: Six more weeks of winter!"

The forecast was delivered after a steady pre-dawn rain turned to snow as temperatures dropped from the high 30s to around freezing. They were forecast to keep dropping over much of the state, prompting the state Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit to 45 mph for many interstate highways, which were already wet and expected to freeze or be covered with snow as the day wore on.

The rain kept some revelers away, with state police estimating the crowd at around 11,000, slightly smaller than in recent years when upward of 15,000 attended.

No mention was made of Sunday night's Super Bowl, unlike Groundhog Day 2009 the last time the celebration occurred the morning after the big game which was won by the nearby Pittsburgh Steelers that year.

Despite the German legend, Phil's handlers don't wait to see if he sees his shadow as he likely would not have on such an overcast day. Instead, the Inner Circle decides on the forecast ahead of time and announce it on Gobbler's Knob, a tiny hill in the town for which the groundhog is named, about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Records going back to 1887 show Phil has now predicted more winter 102 times while forecasting an early spring just 17 times. There are no records for the remaining years.

Critical thinking challenge: Why was the result of the Super Bowl bigger news in Punxsutawney in 2009 than this year?

Assigned 25 times


COMMENTS (32)
  • hunter.mellinger64
    2/03/2015 - 12:46 p.m.

    Wow! Six more weeks of winter. We have calendars,but its always fun to see a groundhog predict how far away spring is. It's a little strange to have a ground hog predict our seasons but still it's fun to see what he has to say.

  • apalacio-Che
    2/03/2015 - 01:49 p.m.

    Its to bad that it seen his shadow now there six more weeks of winter. I was really hoping that spring was gonna start but we have six more weeks of winter.

  • makaylar-Che
    2/03/2015 - 01:53 p.m.

    because the super bowl was between the patriots and Seahawks the Seahawks won last year and it could have been a back to back win but the patriots won. and the game was played near by the Steelers.

  • jacobm-Che
    2/03/2015 - 01:55 p.m.

    I've never like groundhogs day never have never will if anybody ever notice that whether or not the groundhog see his shadow or not it means the same thing either way six more weeks of cold weather or six more weeks till spring it means the some thing either way that's the number one reason i dislike groundhogs day and the simple reason that we all look to a groundhog to tell us way the weather will do is simple amazing why do we all still do this the only thing i like about groundhogs day is that we had a day off of school and now that doesn't happen anymore the groundhog should be left alone forever and like's get rid of the Holiday for good

  • jm1999gizmo
    2/04/2015 - 08:40 a.m.

    the super bowl was bigger news because it was a come back in the last quarter of the game and probably the worst play call in world history, the Seahawks where up 10 points and then the patriots squared two touch downs to be in the lead but the Seahawks came back to the 1 yard line and all they needed to do was run it in. instead of running the ball to win another super bowl they decided to make a goal line pass and get the ball picked off the last seconds in the game.

  • mirandama-Lam
    2/04/2015 - 05:30 p.m.

    What I think about this article is that I wish the groundhog didn't see his shadow because I don't want six more weeks of winter. I do not like winter because it is very cold, and I don't want it to snow anymore!

  • BrigitteA-3
    2/04/2015 - 08:12 p.m.

    Recently, on the last Groundhog Day, the little creature, " Punxsutawney Phil" came out of his hibernation to see his shadow, predicting 6 more weeks of winter instead of an early spring. Every year since as late as 1887, Phil has predicted 6 more weeks of winter at least 107 times and only an early spring 17 times. Every year, on this historic event, large crowds of over 10,000 people come together to watch the forecast. I think that Groundhog Day is a cute tradition and look forward to next year's forecast.

  • JB2001Blue
    2/05/2015 - 08:38 a.m.

    Shoot, I hate when we have to wait 6 more weeks of winter, I'm tired of all this snow and stuff... It's getting annoying. >.>

  • ShaniaWentz-Ste
    2/05/2015 - 11:06 a.m.

    Groundhog day is actually one of my favorite holidays because even if he doesn't see his shadow and "spring comes early", I know that there will still be six more weeks of winter. This year, I was really happy when Phil saw his shadow, which meant six more weeks of winter and six more weeks of snow! Yay!

  • marisola-Orv
    2/05/2015 - 12:50 p.m.

    what is up with all this winter are you guys trying to freeze us to death if it gets to cold we might freeze we all might become human Popsicles so you might wanna get your facts straight is it winter for six weeks or is it spring make up your mind guys.

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