Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil Predicts Six More Weeks Of Cold, Bleak Winter Weather

(Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Gretchen Clayson Contributor
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It’ll be six more weeks of winter, according to weather prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil.

The famous groundhog chose the shadow scroll Wednesday morning during the yearly Groundhog Day celebration at Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, Fox News reported. According to tradition, that means winter is here to stay.

“Winter has been bleak, dark and bereft of hope, yet winter is just another step in the cycle of life,” the scroll read, according to the outlet. “As I look over the faces of the true believers from around the world, I bask in the warmth of your hearts, I couldn’t imagine a better fate, with my shadow I have cast than a long lustrous six more weeks of winter.”

Groundhog Day has roots in Candlemas Day when Christians would bring their candles to the church for blessings. They believed the practice would bring their families good fortune for the rest of the winter, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. (RELATED: Today Is Groundhog Day. Watch ‘Groundhog Day’)

An animal wasn’t involved in the Candlemas Day tradition until it was introduced to Germany, according to the club. In German lore, a hedgehog seeing its shadow on the holiday meant there would be six more weeks of cold weather or a “Second Winter.” When German immigrants brought the tradition to the U.S., they chose a groundhog due to a lack of hedgehogs, the club’s website says.

Those upset about the prospect of more winter shouldn’t fret. The National Centers for Environmental Information, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said Phil’s similar 2021 forecast was only half right, according to CNN.

“On average, Phil has gotten it right 40% of the time over the past 10 years,” NCEI said, the outlet reported.