Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog predicts an early spring

Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog predicts an early spring

The most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania has declared: “Spring will be early, it’s a certainty.”

At sunrise on Groundhog Day, members of Punxsutawney Phil’s top hat-wearing inner circle revealed the furry oracle’s prediction – his 134th “prognostication,” according to the Pennsylvania Tourism Office.

Woken by the crowd’s chants of “Phil!” the groundhog was hoisted in the air for the assembly to see before making his decision.

Groundhog Club co-handler Al Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil (Barry Reeger/AP)
Groundhog Club co-handler Al Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil (Barry Reeger/AP)

He then grasped the glove of a handler as a member of his inner circle announced that spring would come early this year.

The annual event has its origins in a German legend that says if a furry rodent casts a shadow on February 2, winter continues. If not, spring comes early.

In reality, Phil’s prediction is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler’s Knob, a tiny hill just outside Punxsutawney.

The groundhog was woken by the chanting of the crowd (Barry Reeger/AP)
The groundhog was woken by the chanting of the crowd (Barry Reeger/AP)

Over the past five years, from 2015 to 2019, Phil has predicted six more weeks of winter three times and an early spring twice.

According to records dating back to 1887, the groundhog has predicted more winter more than 100 times, making this year’s forecast a rare one overall.

More in this Section

15 of the world’s best nature photos15 of the world’s best nature photos

Swanning about: Watch as Belfast police return runaway birdSwanning about: Watch as Belfast police return runaway bird

British studio says Plague game removed in China as coronavirus spreadsBritish studio says Plague game removed in China as coronavirus spreads

'Don't be a langer. Be kind': Cork poster campaign sparks charity t-shirt range for Pieta House 'Don't be a langer. Be kind': Cork poster campaign sparks charity t-shirt range for Pieta House


Lifestyle

Spring has sprung and a new Munster festival promises to celebrate its arrival with gusto, says Eve Kelliher.Spring has sprung: Munster festival promises to celebrate with gusto

The spotlight will fall on two Munster architects in a new showcase this year.Munster architects poised to build on their strengths

Prepare to fall for leather, whatever the weather, says Annmarie O'Connor.Trend of the week: It's always leather weather

The starting point for Michael West’s new play, in this joint production by Corn Exchange and the Abbey, is an alternative, though highly familiar, 1970s Ireland. You know, elections every few weeks, bad suits, wide ties, and a seedy nexus of politics and property development.Theatre Review: The Fall of the Second Republic at Abbey Theatre, Dublin

More From The Irish Examiner