Punxsutawney Phil predicts six more weeks of winter
Feb 2, 2012, 19:30 GMT
Groundhog Club handler Ron Ploucha holds Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the annual Groundhog Day celebration at Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, USA, 02 February 2012. The groundhog saw his shadow, forecasting six more weeks of winter. EPA/DAVID MAXWELL
Washington - Americans curious about what the weather holds for them over the next few weeks were disappointed Thursday to learn that at least one forecaster believes there is more winter to come.
Punxsutawney Phil, the famed groundhog known for his weather predictions each February 2, forecast six more weeks of winter.
Groundhog Day draws tens of thousands of spectators to a tree stump in the small town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, each year to witness the spectacle in which men dressed in black coats and top hats remove the animal from a tree stump and ask if he has seen his shadow.
The small rodent then 'whispers' in the ear of his keeper. If he has seen his shadow, tradition holds there will be six more weeks of winter, if not there will be an early spring.
The animal is placed in the ceremonial tree stump for the day's activities but is later returned to his permanent home at the town library. The spectacle drew a wider audience after the 1993 Bill Murray film Groundhog Day.
But Phil's 2012 predictions of a longer winter may not hold up with reality at least along the US East Coast, which saw unusually mild temperatures for much of January.
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