Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog, the myth, the legend, emerged from Gobbler's Knob this morning and saw his shadow, thus decreeing six more weeks of winter.
Of course, given the unseasonably warm temperatures and a lack of snow this winter throughout most of the northern U.S., maybe that's not the worst thing.
In any case, the central Pennsylvania celebrity made his annual weather forecast at daybreak Thursday before an overflow crowd of over 15,000 supporters.
Given reports of showers in the area, there were doubts going into this morning over whether there would be a shadow sighting, but evidently there was. Phil don't lie.
"Many shadows do I see: six more weeks of winter it must be," Phil said, according to the Washington Post, CNN, USA Today and local news reports.
According to legend and Groundhog Day folklore, Phil’s sighting of his own shadow on February 2 means there will be six more weeks of winter ahead of us.
Had Phil not it, it would have meant there will be an early spring.
Since the Groundhog’s first prediction in 1887, Phil has seen his shadow 99 times and failed to spot it just 16 times. There are 9 missing years in the record.
The official website of Punxsutawney Phil, perhaps not the most impartial source, claims the Groundhog has issued a correct forecast 100% of the time.
AccuWeather’s grade for the affable rodent’s weather prognostication skills is slightly lower than perfect, but still quite respectable at around 80 percent.
So bundle up ... or not. Gotta love climate change.