Oracle rodent predicts six more weeks of winter for the US


It was a little after 7:40 a.m. Friday when Scott Shawver, of 1490 WMRN-AM, declared that the groundhog had spotted his shadow, which - according to legend - signals six more weeks of winter.

Records dating to 1887 show Phil has now predicted more winter 103 times while forecasting an early spring just 18 times - including a year ago.

(The first recorded mention of a Groundhog Day celebration, minus Gobbler's Knob, came in 1886 in The Punxsutawney Spirit.) But according to, the real architect of Groundhog Day was an American newspaper editor. That's about 100 kilometres northeast of Pittsburgh.

The odds are not in the favor of those hoping for an early spring, as Phil has only predicted it 18 times in the last 132 years. Only 121 of his predictions were recorded. More of Phil's past predictions (link is external)(link is external) are also available from the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

That's still just a prediction, but it's definitely more trustworthy than anything Phil might tell us. I'll give you a winter prediction: "It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be grey and it's gonna last you for the rest of your life". And with that, preparations for Groundhog Day 2019 are officially underway. However, if there are clouds in the sky during the time when the groundhog comes out from the hole, then it means that spring season will come early.

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Phil's handlers said the furry rodent has called for six more weeks of winter after seeing his shadow at dawn today.

However, Groundhog Day became a tradition over 130 years ago - dating back to 1880s. Yet the animal has been right only 39 percent of the time.

"What would you do if you were stuck in one place and every day was exactly the same and nothing that you did mattered?"

Meanwhile, across state lines in New Jersey, Milltown Mel predicted an early spring.

Before the movie premiered, Phil was lucky to have a couple hundred people attend the event. Every year, thousands of people from across the to Punxsutawney.