It’s Groundhog Day – and Punxsutawney Phil has given us his weather prediction

US News

A ground hog named Punxsutawney Phil has revealed his annual weather prediction, in a Groundhog Day event in Pennsylvania.

The furry little critter was summoned from his tree stump at dawn by his “inner circle”, to reveal to those waiting that there will be six more weeks of winter.

According to tradition, if Phil sees his shadow, it means there will be another six weeks of winter.

However, if he doesn’t, spring will arrive early.

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His “inner circle” is made of up local officials who care for and feed the groundhog, as well as plan events for him.

The yearly event at Gobbler’s Knob, about 65 miles (105 km) from Pittsburgh, attracts thousands of people every year to watch proceedings unfold.

It originated from a German legend about a furry rodent, and according to records that date back to 1887, Phil has predicted winter more than 100 times.

However, organisers have said ten years of data does not exist, due to lack of record keeping.

It’s the third year in a row that Phil has predicted six more weeks of winter, after seeing his shadow in 2021 and 2022.

The tradition also spawned a film, Groundhog Day, in which a weatherman, played by Bill Murray, is sent to Punxsutawney on an assignment, only to wake up every morning and relive the same day over, and over again.

The other critters who can predict the weather

Jimmy the Groundhog in Wisconsin, who bit the mayor of Sun Prairie in 2015.

Milltown Mel in New Jersey, whose event got caught up in problems with the law this year.

Woody the Woodchuck in Michigan, who emerged from a little green door last week

Woodstock WIllie in Illinois, who saw his shadow last week – and is home to the set of Groundhog Day.

Octoraro Orphie from Pennsylvania, who, according to tradition, spawaned the annual prediction from Phil.

Buckeye Chuck from Ohio, who this year was a stuffed animal, due to protests from animal rights groups over his treatment.

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