Groundhog Day prediction says early spring is on its way

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The groundhog Punxsutawney Phil is held by a member of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club in Pennsylvania. Members of the club have the opportunity to be Phil’s handlers. (Photo courtesy of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club)

Punxsutawney Phil, famous Pennsylvanian groundhog, emerged early on Feb. 2 in Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania to predict an early spring.

Members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club in top hats and long coats gathered on stage in front of a crowd of thousands and brought out Phil. A member of the club read Phil’s ensuing prediction from a scroll.

“What this weather did not provide, is a shadow or reason to hide. Glad tidings on this Groundhog Day. An early spring is on the way,” the 2024 prediction said.

Punxsutawney Phil, the Pennsylvania groundhog, predicts an early spring. In the video the groundhog emerges at timecode 7:25 and the prediction is read at 8:54. (Associated Press)

Utah does not have a weather predicting groundhog, but 28 U.S. states and Canadian Provinces do. Across the U.S. other prognosticators joined Phil with their own seasonal predictions.

In Nebraska, Groundhog Billie can’t see her shadow because she’s a taxidermized groundhog. Sunni the Sloth at the Louisville, Kentucky zoo predicted six more weeks of winter. In Portland Oregon, Filbert the Beaver, or Stumptown Fil, predicted an early spring, as did General Beauregard, Georgia’s groundhog.

The popularity of the Punxsutawney celebration in Gobbler’s Knob dramatically increased following the release of the 1993 Bill Murray movie “Groundhog Day.” The Punxsutawney celebrations are watched across the nation.

Groundhog day marks the midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox. It’s rooted in a European agricultural lifestyle, and many Germans settled in central and eastern Pennsylvania, including in Punxsutawney.

In the late 1880s Punxsutawney began celebrating Groundhog Day with picnicking, hunting and eating groundhogs. The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club was organized in 1899.

Members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club celebrate Groundhog Day in 1976. The club was organized in the late 1880s. (Photo courtesy of Punxsutawney Groundhog Club)

Whether the predictions are correct or not, Marcy Galando, the executive director of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, told the Associated Press that Groundhog Day should be silly and fun.

“We know this is silly, we know this is fun,” said Galando. “We want people to come here with a sense of humor.”

Punxsutawney Phil is held by a handler. Phil currently has a wife named Phyllis. (Photo courtesy of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club)
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