Thursday, February 2, 2017

Punxsutawney Phil Sees Shadow, Predicts 6 More Weeks of Winter

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Groundhog Day 2017: Punxsutawney Phil Sees Shadow, Predicts 6 More Weeks of Winter

By Eric Chaney
Feb 2 2017 12:00 AM EST
weather.com
Punxutawney Phil saw his shadow on Thursday morning, predicting six more weeks of winter during Groundhog Day festivities at Gobbler's Knob, a small hill just outside Phil's hometown.
Members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club's Inner Circle revealed Phil's forecast by poem as is tradition. 
"It's mighty cold weather, you've been braving," this year's verse read. "Is it more winter or is it spring that you're craving? Since you've been up all night and starting to tottle, I, Punxsutawney Phil, shall not dawdle," the proclamation read. "My faithful followers, I could clearly see a beautiful, perfect shadow of me. Six more weeks of winter, it shall be!"
The Groundhog Day tradition has its origin in a German legend that says if a furry rodent casts a shadow on Feb. 2, winter continues, the Associated Press reports. If not, spring comes early.
In this Feb. 2, 2016, photo, Groundhog Club handler John Griffiths holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather-predicting groundhog. In 2017, Phil predicted 6 more weeks of winter. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Records dating to 1887 show Phil predicting more winter 102 times while forecasting an early spring just 18 times — including last year, the AP reports. There are no records for the remaining years.In reality, Phil's prediction is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler's Knob, a tiny hill just outside Punxsutawney. That's about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Weather.com senior meteorologist Jonathan Erdman says that most northern cities have to go into April in an average year before feeling safe to store the shovel or snowthrower for the season. On the other hand for much of the Northeast urban corridor and parts of the Lower Midwest, snow is typically done by the end of March.
 (MORE: How Much Snow and Cold is Typical After Groundhog Day?)
Interestingly enough, the cities with the highest percentage of season snowfall after Groundhog Day are New York City and Philadelphia, both typically picking up half of their season's snow after Feb. 2.
Incredibly, in both Marquette, Michigan, and Tahoe City, California (Sierra), another 7 feet of snow is typical after Feb. 2. 
MORE ON WEATHER.COM: Top 11 Groundhog Days
 

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