Groundhog Day: Phil predicts an early spring

Posted at 5:57 AM, Feb 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-02 08:38:42-05

The handlers of Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog carried out their annual weather prediction, and Phil predicted an early spring.

Members of Punxsutawney Phil's top hat-wearing inner circle revealed their forecast at sunrise, just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

A German legend has it that if a furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last an additional six weeks. If not, spring comes early.

In reality, Phil's "prediction" is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler's Knob. The tiny hill is located just outside the town of Punxsutawney, about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Records going back to 1887 have Phil forecasting more winter 102 times while forecasting an early spring just 18 times. There are no records for the remaining years.

For a more local weather outlook that isn't coming from a groundhog, check out our latest forecast.