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Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil gives weather forecast for 2024

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Punxsutawney Phil revealed his annual Groundhog Day weather forecast in a tongue-in-cheek ritual in Pennsylvania.

As the sun rose at Gobbler’s Knob, the furry forecaster emerged from his burrow, and his handlers at the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club announced that he had not seen his shadow.

The group says this means America can expect an early spring.

Gobbler’s Knob is the scene of the largest and most famous Groundhog Day celebration. United States.

Some 10,000 people have come to Punxsutawney in recent years for the festivities, which begin at night and peak in midwinter.

A tradition dating back to 1887 has it that if the groundhog sees its shadow when summoned, it means there will be six more weeks of winter – but if not, spring should soon arrive.

Photo: AJ Dereume, manager of the PA Groundhog Club, holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather forecaster groundhog, during the 138th Groundhog Day celebration on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, Friday, February 2, 2024. Phil's handlers have said the groundhog predicted an early spring.  (AP Photo/Barry Reeger)
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Photo: AP

Before making the announcement, President Tom Dunkel told the crowd that his cane, passed down from previous presidents of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, gave him the power to speak “Groundhog-ese” and that Phil would choose one of two scrolls use.

At Mr. Dunkel’s request, the crowd chanted “Phil! ” before a club member pulls the groundhog from a door into a stage stump and holds it aloft.

Vice President Dan McGinley read the decision, written in verse, from the chosen parchment and announced: “Good news this Groundhog Day, an early spring is on the way!

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Photo: AP Photo/Barry Reeger Groundhog Club Manager AJ Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather forecasting groundhog, while Vice President Dan McGinley reads the scroll during the 138th Groundhog Day celebration at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., on Friday.  , February 2, 2024. Phil's handlers said the groundhog had an early spring planned.
Picture:
Photo: AP

The 1993 hit film Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray, sparked renewed interest in Punxsutawney Phil.

The groundhog predicts winter more often than early spring, but when a federal agency checked its record last year, its prediction accuracy rate was hit or miss, at about 40 percent.

The rest of the year, Phil lives in a custom space next to the Punxsutawney Memorial Library, with a window where library patrons can watch his burrow.

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