Accessibility links

USA

US Groundhog Predicts 6 More Weeks of Winter

  • VOA News

Groundhog Club handler Ron Ploucha, center, holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the 129th celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, PA., Feb. 2, 2015.

Groundhog Club handler Ron Ploucha, center, holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the 129th celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, PA., Feb. 2, 2015.

The handlers of the most famous groundhog in the eastern U.S. state of Pennsylvania say the furry little rodent from the small town of Punxsutawney has forecast six more weeks of winter.

The groundhog, known as Punxsutawney Phil, was pulled from his cozy tree stump home around dawn Monday. Tradition has it that if Phil sees his shadow (if the day is sunny), there will be six more weeks of winter in North America. If not, spring will arrive soon.

Groundhog Day is traditionally observed each February 2 at cities and villages throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Punxsutawney Phil is the most famous of the furry prognosticators. Generations of groundhogs, which are members of the marmot family known as woodchucks, have been predicting the weather since 1887.

Records going back to 1887 show Phil has predicted more winter 102 times, while forecasting an early spring 17 times.

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.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

XS
SM
MD
LG