The famed Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter this morning on Groundhog Day.

PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL SEES HIS SHADOW

After the record-breaking freezing temperatures in North America, as well as the infamous “bomb cyclone,” it seems only fitting that this winter would continue for six more weeks. Thousands of spectators gathered at Gobblers Knob in 17º F weather to witness the groundhog see his shadow and run back into his underground dwelling.

The 132-year-old tradition is held every February 2, and was once a Christian holiday involving candles called Candlemas Day. The Germans brought the tradition to Pennsylvania in the 1700s, and every year since, Americans have waited to see if the hibernating groundhog will see his own shadow or not.

A top hat wearing member of the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club initiates the ceremony each year. They are the men who care for the groundhog, and say that Phil speaks “Groundhogese” and drinks a “groundhog punch” that staves off death.

Despite the Pennsylvania groundhog’s popularity, his opinion on the weather is not always right. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, rival groundhog predicted an early spring. While Phil is the groundhog that the nation watches on Groundhog Day, he is most often wrong about what will happen in the coming months,. In fact, more than 100 out of the 132 times we’ve done this, Phil sees his shadow. Last year, for example, Phil saw his shadow but both February and March turned out to be warmer than the national average.

According to NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) National Centers for Environmental Information, “there is no predictive skill for the groundhog during the most recent years of the analysis.”

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