PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) – From Buckeye Chuck to Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhogs are ready for their big day.
The handlers of Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog announced Phil saw his shadow and predicts six more weeks of winter.
Members of Punxsutawney Phil’s top hat-wearing inner circle plan revealed their forecast at sunrise, just before 7:30am Thursday.
Buckeye Chuck, from Marion, Ohio, made his prediction at about 7:40am, and agreed with Phil about the extension of winter. This was Buckeye Chuck’s 38th year of predicting.
The festivities have their origin in a German legend that says if a furry rodent casts a shadow on Feb. 2, winter continues. If not, spring comes early.
In reality, Phil’s prediction is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler’s Knob, a tiny hill just outside Punxsutawney. That’s about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Records dating to 1887 show Phil predicting more winter 102 times while forecasting an early spring just 18 times – including last year. There are no records for the remaining years.