Pennsylvania’s most famous marmot emerged from its den one cold Thursday morning and saw its shadow, which announced that there would be six more weeks of winter. Punxsutawney Phil made his prediction as one deadly storm wreaked havoc in the south and the northeast was preparing for a dangerous Arctic blast.
People gathered at Gobbler’s Knob on Thursday when members of Punxsutawney Phil’s “inner circle” called him out of his stump at dawn to hear if he had seen his shadow — and they say he did. According to folklore, it will be another six weeks of winter when he sees his shadow. If he doesn’t, spring will come early.
The “inner circle” is a group of local dignitaries responsible for planning the events, as well as feeding and caring for Phil himself.
The annual event in Punxsutawney grew out of a German legend about a furry rodent. Officials in the community — which is about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh — welcomed crowds of thousands to this year’s festivities.
According to records from 1887, Phil predicted winter more than 100 times. Ten years were lost because no records were kept, the organizers said.
The forecast for 2022 called for six more weeks of winter, as did the year before.
While Punxsutawney Phil may be the most famous woodchuck seer, he is by no means alone. Staten Island Chuck of New York City made his prediction for an early spring at an event Thursday at the Staten Island Zoo.
Phil and Chuck made their predictions like a deadly storm system hit a big piece of the southern US with bands of freezing rain and snow for a third day on Wednesday. The storm grounded more than 3,300 flights, left hundreds of thousands without power, forced school closures and exacerbated already treacherous driving conditions.
At least eight weather-related deaths have been confirmed in Texas, according to figures obtained by CBS News Wednesday.
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