Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early spring

Punxsutawney Phil predicts an early spring

Handlers for Pennsylvania's most famous prognosticating groundhog say he didn't see his shadow when the sun rose Saturday. The president of the Groundhog Club heads up the PJC's Inner Circle, a group of men who are responsible for handling and feeding Phil, as well as hoisting him in the air on February 2. This, his male handlers in top hats dramatically said, signals an early start to spring and an end to winter.

It may be hard to believe as a large swath of the USA thaws out from a bitter polar vortex, but spring is coming early, according to handlers for some of the country's most famous prognosticating groundhogs.

That's right, the 1993 film starring Bill Murray is copping a sequel, and it'll let you experience the maddening repetition of a single day through the eyes of Phil Connors' son, Phil Connors Jr, set 26 years after the events of the original.

A proclamation will be read aloud that determines if Phil has seen his shadow (meaning six more weeks of winter) or hasn't, which purportedly means an early spring.

Legend has it that if the groundhog sees his shadow on February 2, he will go back into hibernation, and there will be six more weeks of winter.

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They say he's been sustained by "groundhog punch" which acts as a kind of elixir of life for the animal. Then there's swamp rats in Louisiana and pygmy hedge hogs used in OR to predict spring's arrival.

Lots of people tune in each year for Punxsutawney Phil's big day, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has declared the groundhog has "no predictive skill". And your cheers at the Knob give me a thrill everyone signing to the world, 'Phil! Stop the music, here is my forecast.

Faithful followers, there is no shadow of me.

And in Ontario, Canada, Wiarton Willie also predicted an early spring.

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