PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) — The handlers of Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog announced this morning that the rodent predicts six more weeks of winter.
Members of Punxsutawney Phil's top hat-wearing inner circle revealed their forecast at sunrise.
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.
However, Chattanooga Chuck with the Tennessee Aquarium disagrees with Phil! "Wouldn't you know, my shadow's not here though I've searched high and low. This groundhog's calling it right here today. An early spring is here today."
Now to Sam Mountain Sam. The opossum presented by WQSB has had an impeccable track record over the last 25 years, only being wrong once. This year, he says there will be an early spring in Alabama. WHNT News 19's Sarah Macaluso was there for today's announcement.