Punxsutawney Phil’s Prediction: Early Spring

Bradley Hart, Staff Writer

One of the world’s most famous forecasters, Punxsutawney Phil, has predicted an early spring this year. On the chilly morning of February 2, Phil did not see his shadow in  Gobbler’s Knob.

In the small Pennsylvania town of Punxsutawney, February 2 is their big day.  Every year on February 2, the mayor of the town goes up to  Gobbler’s Knob hill and asks Phil to come out of his hole.  When he comes out of his hole, there are thousands of fans that are cheering him on, and then the inner circle of groundhog members converse with Phil.

If he sees his shadow then that is a sign that there will be six more weeks of winter, and Phil will return back to his hole.  However, if Phil does not see his shadow then that is a sign that spring is coming soon.

Punxsutawney Phil is not the only groundhog in the country to come out on February 2 and check to see if more winter is coming or not.  There are two other famous groundhogs: Chuck from New York’s Staten Island Zoo and General Beauregard Lee from Georgia.

New York’s Chuck also didn’t see his shadow which confirms Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction, but Georgia’s General Beauregard Lee saw his shadow so he believes that there will be six more weeks of winter before spring is finally upon us.

This traditon started hundreds of years ago when Medival people would figured out how much time was left in winter when animals that hibernate would come out on Candlemas, which is halfway between the winter solstice that happens in December and the vernal equinox which occurs in March.  They believed that animals were able to predict when spring would come.

However, the tradition of using a groundhog named Phil in Punxsutawney to predict the future started 127 years ago with German settlers that came to the region and set up the town of Punxsutawney.