US Groundhog Predicts Six More Weeks of Winter

Posted February 2nd, 2012 at 8:25 am (UTC-5)
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Winter is here to stay for at least for six more weeks, according to a furry little resident of a small town called Punxsutawney in Pennsylvania.

A groundhog dubbed Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his cozy tree stump home early Thursday, as he does each year, and he saw his shadow.

Tradition has it that if Phil sees his shadow , there will be six more weeks of winter. If not, it means spring will arrive soon.

If Phil is correct in his 2012 forecast, the U.S. may get the winter weather that it has been missing since the season began nearly two months ago.

Last Groundhog Day, more than half of the continental U.S. was covered in snow. Less than a fifth of was the nation was covered Wednesday.

Organizers expected a crowd of 15,000 or more to gather for the traditional Groundhog Day observance.

Groundhog Day is traditionally observed each February second at cities and villages throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Punxsutawney Phil is the most famous of the furry prognosticators. Generations of groundhogs have been predicting the weather since 1887.

Other states have their own groundhogs, like Sir Walter Wally of North Carolina. In West Virginia, there is French Creek Freddie. Georgia has General Beauregard Lee.

Canada's most famous groundhog is Wiarton Willie of Ottawa.