Punxsutawney Phil, America’s most famous groundhog, saw his shadow Friday morning, predicting six more weeks of winter. A rival groundhog, Staten Island Chuck, predicted spring will be coming early after he did not see his shadow in New York on Friday. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was not in attendance for the shadow reveal after he “dropped” Charlotte, a stand-in rodent for Groundhog Day in 2014. Charlotte sadly passed away a few days after the fall. De Blasio has not attended a Groundhog Day since the fatal fall. But Phil typically gets top billing. The groundhog came out of hibernation Friday morning in Pennsylvania to forecast the weather for the next six weeks. Legend has it if the furry rodent casts a shadow on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, expect six more weeks of winter-like weather. If not, expect spring-like temperatures. However, Phil’s prediction was decided ahead of time by the top hat and tuxedo-wearing members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle. The group makes the announcement on Gobbler’s Knob, a tiny hill just outside of Punxsutawney, Pa. The small community is about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Records dating back to 1887 show Phil predicting more winter 102 times while forecasting an early spring just 18 times. No records exist for the remaining years. People gathered at Gobbler’s Knob at 3 a.m. ET to await the decision announced around 7:25 a.m. ET. The tradition grew in popularity in Punxsutawney following the release of the comedy “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray. Murray, who plays a weatherman in the film, gets trapped in a time warp and has to relive the day over and over again until he gets it right. Before the movie premiered, Phil was lucky to have a couple hundred people attend the event. Now thousands of people from across the country travel to the small town of Punxsutawney..
6 more weeks of winter…BOO!