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This Groundhog Day, Punxsutawney Phil Does Not See His Shadow, Predicts Early Spring

Feb 01, 2020 06:26AM ● By Editor
Photo: The Weather Channel

From Ron Brackett of The Weather Channel - February 2, 2020 

Punxsutawney Phil was pulled from his burrow in Gobbler's Knob Sunday morning and did not see see his shadow, which, according to legend, means an early spring and warmer temperatures are coming.

Of course, even the organizers of the annual Groundhog Day event in western Pennsylvania acknowledge that turning to a large rodent for weather forecasting is mostly a way to break up winter monotony

PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, caused a bit of a ripple this year when the group sent a letter to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club saying it's time to retire Phil and use an animatronic groundhog

Still, thousands of people stayed out in the cold all night to watch Phil's handlers pull him from a big tree stump about 7:25 a.m. Sunday. 

Then a top-hatted man, one of the Inner Circle, read Phil's scroll: "So do I hope you think it's neighborly, for there is no shadow of me. Spring will be early, it's a certainty."

The denizens of Punxsutawney have celebrated Groundhog Day every Feb. 2 since 1887. The tradition was brought over by German immigrants.Since that first gathering, Punxsutawney Phil (there has been a few since then) has predicted more winter 104 times, according to none other than the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Counting this year, he hasn't seen his shadow 20 times. Records are missing for 10 years.

Since 2009, according to NOAA, Phil's predictions has been right about 40% of the time. 

What do the human forecasters expect in the coming weeks?

The latest outlook from The Weather Company, an IBM Business, says much of the western, southern and eastern U.S. can expect near or above average temperatures heading into spring, while near or slightly below average temperatures are likely in parts of the northern tier.

To read the original article and see related weather reporting, follow this link to the Weather Channel website.

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