WASHINGTON DC —
Weather-watchers across the United States have heard good news: There will be an early spring this year, according to the most famous groundhog in the state of Pennsylvania.
February 2 marks Groundhog Day, when traditionally a groundhog known as "Punxsutawney Phil" is makes an appearance above ground, near the cozy tree stump he calls home. Legend has it that if he sees his shadow — i.e., if it is a sunny day — North America is in for six more weeks of winter weather.
That means many of Phil's fans, gathered to witness his formal prediction, may have been glad to see Tuesday's overcast skies in the town of Punxsutawney. Phil's appearance came just days after the eastern United States dug out from a record-breaking blizzard.
Punxsutawney Phil is the most famous of the furry forecasters, but other U.S. states, as well as Canada, have their own groundhogs to consult. The tradition stretches back to at least 1887. Records show that Phil predicts more winter far more often than he indicates an early spring.
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