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US Groundhog Predicts 6 More Weeks of Winter in North America

  • VOA News

FILE - Groundhog Club handler John Griffiths holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the 131st celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., Feb. 2, 2017.

Punxsutawney Phil," America's famous weather-forecasting groundhog, has predicted six more weeks of winter in North America.

Phil's prediction came after he emerged from his burrow Friday in the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania and saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter-like weather lie ahead.

But the accuracy of this annual forecast is dubious, as the prediction is made by a groundhog.

February 2 marks Groundhog Day, when Phil makes an appearance near the cozy tree stump he calls home. Legend has it that if he sees his shadow -- if it is a sunny day -- North America is in for six more weeks of winter weather.

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 that far show Phil has predicted many more winters than an early springs.

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.

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