GROUNDHOG DAY: Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow?

Weather: Big changes around the corner as February arrives!

Phil's handlers, known as "The Inner Circle", cajoled him out of his hole to issue his forecast as the sun rose. But he's always popular.

While groundhogs and other critters make similar predictions across the nation on Groundhog Day, it is Phil's that is followed the most closely.

Phil saw his shadow at 7:21 a.m. Friday, which means six more weeks of winter. There, they wait until sunrise, when Phil leaves his home to look for his shadow. "Six more weeks of Winter to go!"

Phil has been correct about 65 percent of the time based on 117 years of available records, according to Penn Live.

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Even so, there's some good news: Phil is usually wrong. If he does not see his shadow, there will be an early spring.

Phil's proclamation was translated by the president of the Inner Circle - the only person who understands the "Groundhogese" language - according to The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. As far as history is concerned, the groundhog tends to make random predictions. It gets pretty weird.

Smith hails from Punxsutawney in central Pennsylvania, and became an official Groundhog Ambassador in 1985. The original Milltown Mel died in July 2015, but his friend took over his name and has carried on with the tradition.

The average lifespan of a groundhog is six years, but legend has it that Punxsutawney Phil is over 130 years old. Since 1988, the groundhog was "right" 14 times and "wrong" 16 times.

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"As a Groundhog Ambassador, I spread the word", Smith said.

Phil was wrong previous year: The fuzzy rodent saw his shadow, so there should have been six more weeks of winter. The contiguous United States saw only slightly below average temperatures last February. February 2017 was the second-warmest February on record. It's a Pennsylvania Dutch superstition that if a groundhog-named Punxsutawney Phil-comes out of its burrow on February 2 and sees a shadow due to clear weather, he will go back underground for another six weeks of winter.

This tradition started in Europe as Candlemas Day, an early Christian holiday involving candles. When said Germans immigrated to America, hedgehogs were less in abundance, so they switched to groundhogs.

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