Saturday 18 November 2017

More winter, says Punxsutawney Phil

Groundhog Club handler Ron Ploucha holds Punxsutawney Phil (AP)
Groundhog Club handler Ron Ploucha holds Punxsutawney Phil (AP)
Groundhog Club handler Ron Ploucha holds Punxsutawney Phil (AP)

The handlers of Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, say the furry rodent has forecast six more weeks of winter.

Members of the top hat-wearing Inner Circle announced the "forecast" just before 7:30am local time on Monday.

A German legend has it that if a furry rodent sees his shadow on February 2, winter will last another 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 in the town for which he's named about 65 miles north east of Pittsburgh.

Records going back to 1887 show Phil has now predicted more winter 102 times while forecasting an early spring just 17 times. There are no records for the remaining years.

Press Association

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