Punxsutawney Phil Preps for Prediction 02/02 06:09
PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) -- It's Groundhog Day and people are waiting to learn
whether a furry critter in a western Pennsylvania town will predict an early
spring or six more weeks of winter.
People will gather Thursday at Gobbler's Knob as members of Punxsutawney
Phil's "inner circle" summon him from his tree stump at dawn to learn if he has
seen his shadow. According to folklore, if he sees his shadow there will be six
more weeks of winter. If he doesn't, spring comes early.
The "inner circle" is a group of local dignitaries who are responsible for
planning the events, as well as feeding and caring for Phil himself.
The annual event in Punxsutawney originated from a German legend about a
furry rodent. Officials in the community -- which is about 65 miles (105
kilometers) northeast of Pittsburgh -- are hoping the usual crowd of between
10,000 to 15,000 visitors comes out for the event, which will also be
According to records dating back to 1887, Phil has predicted winter more
than 100 times. Ten years were lost because no records were kept, organizers
The 2021 forecast called for six more weeks of winter.
While Punxsutawney Phil may be the most famous groundhog seer, he's
certainly not the only one. New York City's Staten Island Chuck will also make
his prediction Thursday during an event at the Staten Island Zoo.