Happy Groundhog Day? Punxsutawney Phil Makes Gloomy Winter Forecast
The prognosticating Pennsylvania rodent says six more weeks of winter.
Everyone's favorite weather-reporting rodent has some bad news to share this year.
The most famous of all the prognosticating groundhogs, Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow Thursday, a foretelling that there will be six more long weeks of winter.
Each February 2, Phil and his brethren play a part in the old tradition tracing its roots back to Germany. If the groundhog sees its shadow, winter will drag on.
Gloom or no, thousands gathered around the town's Gobbler's Knob, as they do every year, to celebrate the tradition, which dates back to 1887.
Since then, records show Phil has predicted more winter 103 times.
If the groundhog awakes to no shadow, the old lore predicts an early spring. And, for those itching to cast of their winter wardrobe, that's exactly what one of Phil's lesser known cousins proclaimed 300 miles to the east.
New York City's official Groundhog Day ambassador, Staten Island Chuck, contradicted his cousin's claim on Thursday when he made his prediction at the Staten Island Zoo after crawling from his burrow and seeing no shadow.
The New York ceremony first gained national notoriety in 2014 when the groundhog playing Chuck that year leaped from the hands of Mayor Bill de Blasio.
It was the newly elected mayor's first Groundhog Day, and the animal's hard landing ultimately led to Chuck's (nee Charlotte's) untimely death.
Since then, Staten Island Chuck has made his prediction safely behind a glass enclosure.
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