Groundhog Day 2018: Did Punxsutawney Phil See His Shadow in Annual Pennsylvania Event?

- Tom Durante

America’s favorite weather-predicting rodent may not be so favorable after this year’s forecast.

Punxsutawney Phil, the legendary groundhog forecaster of Punxsutawney, Pa., saw his shadow Friday, meaning the already bitter winter will continue for six more weeks.

The annual spectacle, held every Feb. 2, drew thousands of spectators in the hamlet’s Gobbler’s Knob that Phil calls home. 

The tradition of Groundhog Day dates back nearly 200 years, as American settlers from Germany believed a cloudless sky would lead to an extended winter. 

As legend has it, when the groundhog wakes and doesn’t see his shadow, spring is on its way — but if not, you better keep the winter coats and mittens at hand.

While Punxsutawney Phil may be the most notable groundhog, he’s not the only one, as other municipalities have adopted their own version of the prognosticating rodent.

New York City has Staten Island Chuck, who did not see his shadow this year.

In Ontario, Canada, it’s Wiarton Willie, who followed suit with Phil and saw his shadow Friday.

The Gobbler’s Knob celebration’s notoriety skyrocketed with the release of Groundhog Day in 1993. The film followed acrimonious weatherman Phil Connors, played by Bill Murray, as he relives the same Groundhog Day over and over.

The movie was adapted into an award-winning musical in London in 2016 before making its way to Broadway last year. But despite promising reviews and seven Tony nominations, the production shuttered in New York City after just 176 shows.

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