6 more weeks of winter according to Phil the groundhog

Punxsutawney Phil Season Prediction Winter Shadow Pennsylvania

Chris Hondros Getty Images

Every year, on February 2, a groundhog leaves his home, a hole in the ground in the small community of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Chuck - a three-decade veteran of weather predictions - did not see his shadow.

"We're going to be here next year, same time, same place", city officials said Friday.

Potomac Phil in Dupont Circle predicts another six weeks of winter.

According to legend, if the rodent emerges from his dwelling and sees his shadow, six more weeks of winter should be expected.

In Milltown, N.J., Groundhog Day festivities have been a tradition for 10 years. Last year, his descendent stepped in. or, rather, popped out.

REUTERS/EPAGroundhog Day 2018: Did Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow? The original Milltown Mell died in 2015, but his companion took on the same name and the town keeps the tradition alive. Unlike other groundhogs, who are out at the crack of dawn, Essex Ed appears at the zoo at 11 am. While many are probably hoping for an end to the harsh cold and snow, the changing of the seasons now lies in the paws of Punxsutawney Phil. Instead, they may just have to explain that there have been upwards of 40 groundhogs playing the famous weather prognosticator since 1886. Some people use the animal to make predictions about the "political climate" of the country.

But the origins of predicting the arrival of spring dates back much further.

With 132 years of experience (as his top hat-wearing Inner Circle insists), Punxsutawney Phil gave his annual Groundhog Day prognostication.

The Stormfax website researched all the predications since 1887 and found that he has seen his shadow 104 times (79 percent).

Punxsutawney Phil with one of his handlers on Friday. Because it's become such a tradition in Punxsutawney, even at 7:30 am spectators watch and dance as the groundhog comes out.

Buckeye Chuck of OH came out of his burrow and saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter.

Although Americans hear Phil's weather prediction every February 2, it is not clear how correct the groundhog is.

Be all that as it may, here in Sussex County, Stonewall Jackson V is our go-to groundhog.

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