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Punxsutawney Phil goes hi-tech with weather prediction

By Sandy Sand     Jan 12, 2010 in Lifestyle
It’s official. Punxsutawney Phil, the weather predicting groundhog will text message his prediction of a long winter or early spring on Groundhog Day.
Every year thousands of people descend upon Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, on Feb. 2, to watch as officials of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club drag Punxsutawney Phil out of his winter burrow to glimpse his shadow or not.
Officials said the message of another six weeks of winter or an early spring are delivered in “groundhog-ese,” but the text messaging will be transmitted in English.
Pennsylvania deputy tourism secretary Mickey Rowley, acknowledged that most people can’t come to Pennsylvania for the annual prediction event, so this year they decided to text his prediction.
Anyone wanting a personal message from Phil can text “Groundhog” to 247365, and they will receive Phil’s prediction on Feb. 2.
Groundhog Day is celebrated in many cities in Canada and the United States and may have originated in England. The tradition is at least 300 years old. The harbinger of an early spring or a longer winter is based on whether the groundhog, a member of the squirrel family and also know as a marmot or woodchuck, comes out of his burrow and sees his shadow.
No shadow signifies that spring is not far off. Fans of the day contend that the rodent’s forecast are accurate 75 percent of the time, but naysayers maintain that shadow or not, winter still doesn’t end for another six weeks after Groundhog Day.
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