North Americans tired of snow and storms may need patience this year before they put away their winter layers — at least according to Punxsutawney Phil, the prognosticating Pennsylvania groundhog.
Phil, who tradition says can forecast when the winter will end, dashed hopes for an early spring on Wednesday when he emerged from his tree stump and saw his shadow.
Each year on Feb. 2 — Groundhog Day — thousands of revelers gather in the town of Punxsutawney, about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, to witness a groundhog that has been designated as “Phil” make his prediction.
According to folklore dating back to 1887, if the rodent sees his shadow on Groundhog Day frigid and blustery weather will continue for six weeks. If it is cloudy and no shadow appears, the onset of spring is near.
A sliver of hope, though, was provided by rival groundhog Staten Island Chuck, in New York’s Staten Island Zoo — he did not cast a shadow when he clambered out his home on Wednesday morning.