undergroundnewsroom.com March 23, 2018

Pennsylvania's Most Famous Groundhog Sees Shadow: 6 More Weeks Of Winter

02 February 2018, 09:37 | Damon Campbell

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If you tune into Groundhog Day at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., on Friday, you'll see a groundhog, men in top hats and - maybe - a shadow.

The Pennsylvania groundhog isn't the only weather-predicting rodent in this quirky American tradition, but he is the most famous. Legend has it that means six more weeks of winter. In keeping with tradition, the event includes Phil emerging from his simulated tree trunk home and looking for his shadow.

Either that, or every day they're surrounded by groundhogs. The first celebrations of Groundhog Day were seen in Pennsylvania's German communities, with the first record of a Groundhog Day like celebration coming from 1840.

In case you didn't know, February 2 is Groundhog Day. According to Data for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, between 1887 and 2017, Phil saw his shadow 103 times and didn't 18 times. "When they go to the movies, when they go to the theater, they want to be entertained and they want to be able to leave feeling kind of refreshed and uplifted many times, if you will, and I think this is that kind of movie", he says.

January 27, 2010 - The animal rights group PETA suggests using a robotic groundhog in place of Punxsutawney Phil. No records exist for the remaining years. Luckily for fans and players it will be held within a dome.

It comes from the Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog emerging from it's burrow on the day sees a shadow due to clear weather, it will return to its den and winter will last for six more weeks.

Meanwhile, across state lines in New Jersey, Milltown Mel predicted an early spring.

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Different meteorological associations debate Phil's accuracy. The newspaper claims that Chuck has been accurate 80 percent of the time since 1992. That's the question that will be on everyone's minds as they awake early Friday, which also happens to be Groundhog Day. In 2015, the Washington Post put together a graphic depicting how the groundhog's prediction played out for different districts around the country.

A rare misstep in 2013, when Woody incorrectly forecast an early spring, prompted an apology from the MI mammal.

1986 - Phil travels to Washington, D.C.to meet with President Ronald Reagan.

For most of the year, Phil is mainly a local attraction.

If it does not see its shadow, spring will arrive soon.

KATC's Katie Lopez was live this morning in New Iberia to find out whether Acadiana will be seeing six more weeks of winter or perhaps an early spring. He has yet to predict an end to the gridlock, and has so far never been proven wrong. Prior to being called Phil, he was called Br'er Groundhog.

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