Monday 5 December 2016

Groundhog foresees long winter

Published 02/02/2012 | 16:03

Groundhog Club handler John Griffiths holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog (AP)
Groundhog Club handler John Griffiths holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog (AP)

Winter is set to drag on for six more weeks, according to Pennsylvania's famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil.

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He emerged from his lair and saw his shadow, in the process predicting more cold weather.

But, at this rate, that might not be so bad.

The groundhog made his annual "prediction" on Gobbler's Knob, a tiny hill in the town for which he is named about 65 miles north-east of Pittsburgh.

Temperatures were near freezing when he emerged at dawn - unseasonably warm - and are forecast to climb in a winter that has brought little snow and only a few notably cold days to much of the eastern United States.

The ceremony is largely that: Phil's prediction is determined ahead of time by the Inner Circle, a group which dons top hats and tuxedos and decides in advance what the groundhog will predict.

Press Association

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