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Famous US Groundhog Predicts 6 More Weeks of Winter

  • VOA News

FILE - Groundhog Club co-handler John Griffiths holds Punxsutawney Phil during the annual celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., Feb. 2, 2016.

The United States will see six more weeks of winter this year, according to the most famous groundhog in the state of Pennsylvania.

February 2 marks Groundhog Day, when traditionally a Pennsylvania groundhog known as "Punxsutawney Phil" makes an appearance above ground, near the cozy tree stump he calls home.

Legend has it that if he sees his shadow -- i.e., if it is a sunny day -- North America is in for six more weeks of winter weather. This was the case on Thursday.

If he doesn't see his shadow, spring will arrive soon.

Punxsutawney Phil is the most famous of the furry forecasters, but other U.S. states, as well as Canada, have their own groundhogs to consult. The tradition stretches back to at least 1887. Records show that Phil has predicted more winter far more often than he indicates an early spring.

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