PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – It’s not the news many wanted to hear this morning, but winter is going to last another six weeks.
The handlers of Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog announced that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow at Gobbler’s Knob.
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.
Jeff Grube member of the Groundhog Inner Circle tells the “KDKA Morning News” the weather is cold, but perfect for Groundhog Day.
Grube, who’s Inner Circle handle is “Skypainter” says, “We have large crowds streaming in, they’re trying to keep warm right now. It’s getting cold up here and some snow [is] coming down. It’s perfect.”
Grube adds the movie “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray has increased the crowds at Gobbler’s Knob since its release in 1993.
“That just got us such a wide notoriety that the crowds probably grew by 10 times,” Grube said.
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(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)