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Poll: Groundhog Day: Did Punxsutawney Phil See His Shadow?

Six more weeks of winter or an early spring? Read all about Phil and take our poll.

The results are in from Punxsutawney, Pa., and Phil the groundhog saw his shadow—so if his prediction holds, we could be in for six more weeks of winter.

Phil's tweet this morning: A terrifying shadow = 6 more weeks of winter!

That's usually bad news, but with so few truly cold days this year — temperatures reached 60 degrees Wednesday in some nearby towns—it might be exactly what those who enjoy winter sports and recreation are hoping for. Indeed, continued Phil, No complaining. We haven’t even had winter yet.

This year's prediction aside, how did such an unassuming creature, whose yearly prediction is accurate only 39 percent of the time, become the center of such an enduring tradition? As it turns out, Phil and his counterparts have been predicting the weather for quite some time—since 1887, according to an article in the Huffington Post. And though the tradition’s origins are unclear, it is believed to have come from ancient European weather lore in which a badger or sacred bear predicted the weather. The tradition also has religious origins, as it shares similarities with Candlemas Day, which is also on Feb. 2.

But that’s not the whole story of Phil, his lore or his longevity—not even close. Other facts of note, gathered from various resources, include:

  • There’s only one Phil. Although groundhogs live for around 10 years in captivity, Phil loyalists insist there has only been one Punxsutawney Phil since his first appearance in the 1880s. According to the official website of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, Phil is given a sip of special groundhog punch every year, which extends his life and allows him to keep making predictions. (csmonitor.com)
  • The average groundhog is 20 inches long and normally weighs from 12 to 15 pounds. Punxsutawney Phil weighs about 20 pounds and is 22 inches long. (groundhog.org)
  • In the years following the release of the film Groundhog Day, crowds numbering as high as 30,000 have visited Gobbler's Knob, the tiny hill in Punxsutawney where the yearly ceremony takes place. (Huffington Post)
  • He may be older than your grandpa’s grandpa, but Phil has adapted with the times. He broke telecommunications ground for rodents in 2010 by allowing people to sign up for a text message notification of his prediction and also updates his Facebook status and tweets his prediction, as he did this morning. (csmonitor.com)

Now back to today's prediction. What did you think? Take our poll and let us know.

Beckilynn Green February 02, 2012 at 08:34 PM
I love ground hog day beause of the anticipation. I dont like it though when he sees his shadow. Love the photo !
Aaron Coyle February 02, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Groundhogs day has become one of my favorite holidays. One of these years I'll get to Gobblers Knob and see the real Phil in person. Love the movie. One of my all time favorites.
tony February 02, 2012 at 08:57 PM
oh no he saw his shadow
luvyalexi February 02, 2012 at 10:37 PM
I have no care in the world about if he sees his shadow or not.. I mean we havent even had a snow yet. Stop complaining and man up. I know we deserve this weather since 2 years ago we had that huge snow storm but.... PLEASE.
kathleen strottman February 02, 2012 at 10:56 PM
i can't bleive he saw his shodo
dan February 02, 2012 at 11:30 PM
he is so cute
Ariel morris February 02, 2012 at 11:41 PM
I can't belive he saw his shadow because i want it to be spring becuse we haven't even had any snow days yet last year was sonow not alot but snow 2 years ago snowstorm but why did he have to see his shadow today boo who i mad my name is Ariel Morris Ilive at 194 river st
Towanda Sayles February 03, 2012 at 12:09 AM
A groundhog do not predict the weather,that is manmade,god and him alone does things according to him so it should be called god's day instead
Coerce February 03, 2012 at 01:35 AM
He just wanted to sleep a little longer because all the hype kept him up for so long. He needs an agent too. Bring me your finest meats and cheeses, and a carrot would not hurt!
stephanie February 03, 2012 at 01:44 AM
yay 6 more weeks till spring lol but i prefer winter that the spring but still yay lol im slow n stupid : )
stephanie February 03, 2012 at 01:45 AM
lol that is funny
Dianna Hamilton February 03, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Whoever thought up the idea that a groundhog should be used (whether he sees his shadow or not) to predict whether there will be 6 more weeks of winter or not!???!
Dianna Hamilton February 03, 2012 at 02:10 AM
Its just another superstition added to the many people who religously believe the conclusion or consequence of it, and either act upon the effects that they may cause if they dont abide by them, or tip toe through life believing certain "sighns" may be reason for something. And for the record the calender states that from six weeks and five days from febuary 2nd is March 20th which is the first day of spring...so you people worried groundhogs and black cats etc. need to check yourself :)
keemz February 03, 2012 at 06:02 AM
I MAD.....
A Clark February 03, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Lighten up, Dianna
Theresa Knapp (Editor) January 30, 2013 at 09:22 PM
Your comment has been removed because it is inappropriate. Profanity is not allowed.

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