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article imagePunxsutawney Phil predicts early spring

By Kesavan Unnikrishnan     Feb 2, 2013 in Environment
Perennial favorite groundhog, Phil emerged from his winter shelter at Gobbler's Knob on Groundhog Day to predict an early spring in 2013.
The official weather-forecasting groundhog, "Phil" ventured from his cozy burrow in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. No shadows frightened the weather-predicting groundhog when he made his appearance in front of a crowd of about 20,000 people signaling it will be an early spring.
2013 was Punxsutawney Phil's 127th appearance out of sleep to make his annual weather prediction.The small town has kept the tradition of Groundhog Day alive since 1887.
Bob Roberts, one of Phil's handlers announced to the waiting crowd.
And so ye faithful, there is no shadow to see, an early Spring for you and me.
"Groundhog Day" follows an old German superstition that has a fairly decent track record. It was believed that if an animal sees its shadow on February 2, the mid-point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox - bad weather is in store, and it goes back underground for another six weeks of winter. But if it is cloudy, the animal remains outside, meaning warm weather and an early spring.
Phil's prediction of six more weeks of winter was spot on in 2012. At least 48 states saw a longer winter than average, and experienced colder weather than average until March. However, Phil has had a 39% accuracy rate regarding his early spring/late winter forecasts over the last 127 years.
More about Groundhog, hedgehog, Spring, Phil
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