Happy Groundhog Day! Here's What Punxsutawney Phil Predicts For 2018

Punxsutawney Phil Season Prediction Winter Shadow Pennsylvania

Anyone originally from a frigid winter state knows all about the fuss over Groundhog Day, the annual February 2 ritual.

If the animal is unable to see his shadow, superstition dictates that spring will begin early. What does it mean?

Pennsylvania's own world-famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, predicted six more weeks of winter this morning at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania after seeing his shadow. Spring has indeed been starting earlier, a sign of our warming climate.

You can watch the prediction now on PCN TV or on the Visit Pa. Groundhog Day livestream website.

The first official Groundhog Day in the United States was in 1887 - though it is thought to have been celebrated before then - when a group of people made the trip to Gobbler's Knob in Puxsutawny to consult the rodent about the weather.

Predicting seasonal climate, like Baxter does, has gotten easier over the past several years as the globe has recorded a string of record-hot temperatures.

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No one can talk to a horse, of course - or a groundhog.

Speaking to Deeley in Groundhogese, the official language of the 'hog, Phil directed him to one of two scrolls to issue his prediction.

The holiday stems from a German holiday known as Candlemas Day, which celebrated the ritual purification of Mary during the halfway point between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox. While Phil's predictions may be more correct for regions around the Great Lakes, the southern part of the country - specifically those in Florida - can largely ignore what the groundhog sees. According to Live Science, Phil has only been right 39 percent of the time.

"For example, the North Slope of Alaska, every fall season there's been warm for the past 15 years or something, relative to normal", Baxter said.

In the end, you must choose: Will you trust a groundhog or your WFAA Weather Team?

Sussex County is home, at Space Farms, to weather-predicting groundhog Stonewall Jackson V who comes from a long line of oracular groundhogs- all named Stonewall Jackson.

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