2017 Groundhog Day: Punxutawney Phil Predicts 6 More Weeks Of Winter!

groundhog day 2017

It wasn't good news for those on the East Coast and in the wintry states this morning.

The famous Groundhog, Punxutawney Phil saw his shadow on Thursday A.M., predicting six more weeks of winter during Groundhog Day festivities at Gobbler's Knob.

As tradition goes, members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club's Inner Circle revealed Phil's forecast by poem:

"It's mighty cold weather, you've been braving," this year's verse read. "Is it more winter or is it spring that you're craving? Since you've been up all night and starting to tottle, I, Punxsutawney Phil, shall not dawdle," the proclamation read. "My faithful followers, I could clearly see a beautiful, perfect shadow of me. Six more weeks of winter, it shall be!"

According to AP and The Weather Channel, records dating to 1887 show Phil predicting more winter 102 times while forecasting an early spring just 18 times — including last year.

So, why do we depend on a groundhog to tell us whether or not spring is coming early? The popular tradition is a legend that stems from similar beliefs associated with Candlemas Day and the days of early Christians in Europe. For centuries the custom was to have the clergy bless candles and distribute them to the people. Even then, it marked a milestone in the winter and the weather that day was important. Read more about the history here:

Check out some other groundhogs across the U.S. who actually predicted an early spring…

Here are a few other predictions from groundhogs across the US and Canada:

  • Chattanooga Chuck (Tennessee) – early spring
  • Malverne Mel (New York) – early spring 
  • Buckeye Chuck (Ohio) – six more weeks of winter
  • Jimmy the Groundhog (Wisconsin) – six more weeks of winter
  • Wiarton Willie (Ontario) – early spring
  • Shubenacadie Sam (Nova Scotia) – early spring
  • Fred la marmotte (Quebec) – early spring

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