PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP/KDKA) — As the Midwest and East Coast try to recover from this week’s dangerous Arctic blast, Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog geared up to reveal whether an early spring is on the way or if winter will stick around.READ MORE: Community Members Rally For Justice In Death Of Jim Rogers, Man Tased By Pittsburgh Police
And what did Punxsutawney Phil predict?
Spring is around the corner, according to members of Punxsutawney Phil’s top hat-wearing inner circle, who revealed their forecast at sunrise on Saturday.
— Punxsutawny Phil (@PunxsatawnyPhil) February 2, 2019
The early-Spring prediction is so rare that it has only happened 19 times in the 133-year history of Groundhog Day.
“Every February 2nd, we look forward to celebrating this beloved Pennsylvania tradition with the rest of the world,” said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. “Groundhog Day is something you can only find in our commonwealth, and we’re honored to share Phil’s prediction with visitors, residents, and the millions of families watching from their homes.”READ MORE: Congressman Glenn Thompson Being Treated For COVID-19 At Walter Reed Hospital
The festivities have their origin in a German legend that says if a furry rodent casts a shadow on Saturday, 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.
The event now attracts up to 30,000 visitors to Punxsutawney, Jefferson County, located about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. Phil has predicted six more weeks of winter weather 104 times while forecasting an early spring just 19 times.
“Even in the 133rd year, sharing Punxsutawney Phil’s prognostication with the world never ceases to amaze me,” said Groundhog Club Inner Circle President Bill Deeley. “I think it’s safe to say our favorite furry weather forecaster has a special place in the nation’s heart.”MORE NEWS: Volunteers Sought For Days Of Service In Honor Of Tree Of Life Victims
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