Groundhog doesn't see his shadow, predicting early spring

Punxsutawney Phil visits the Pennsylvania Farm Show ahead of Groundhog Day Jan. 8 2019

Punxsutawney Phil visits the Pennsylvania Farm Show ahead of Groundhog Day Jan. 8 2019

The 1993 film "Groundhog Day" starring Bill Murray, gave world fame to the groundhog Phil, but he's not the only weather marmot. Groundhog Day is a popular tradition in the United States and Canada. Phil's handlers said that the groundhog has forecast an early spring.

People came in droves amid frigid 10 degree temperatures to watch Phil as he curiously popped out of his dugout just before 7:30 a.m. EST Saturday morning. Meanwhile, he has not seen his shadow just 19 times - counting this year - meaning an early spring.

He has been at it for 130 years, but Phil doesn't have the best track record.

Jeff Lundy from the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club welcomed the largest crowd ever seen on Groundhog Day Saturday as the country learned spring was on the way. And while Punxsutawney Phil is the most famous weather-predicting groundhog, he is not the only one.

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Last year, Phil predicted six more weeks of winter, but was proven wrong when temperatures rose through February and March.

The tradition of looking to a small animal to predict the weather began with German immigrants concentrated in Pennsylvania who used a hedgehog - not a groundhog.

Other towns have their own groundhog mascots as well, including Birmingham Bill in Alabama and Staten Island Chuck in NY. According to his info-graphic, since 1887, Punxsutawney Phill has seen his shadow 104 times, signaling six more weeks of winter. That means an early spring.

Groundhog Day still not making sense? "Groundhog Day is something you can only find in our commonwealth, and we're honored to share Phil's prediction with visitors, residents, and the millions of families watching from their homes".

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