Groundhog Day 2022: Punxsutawney Phil Predicts 6 More Weeks Of Winter
Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog emerged from his burrow on a cold Wednesday morning and saw his shadow, declaring there would be six more weeks of winter. Punxsutawney Phil made his annual prediction as another major winter storm is expected to bring heavy snow, ice and freezing rain to a large portion of the country.
Thousands of people from around the nation and other countries gathered at Gobbler's Knob as members of Phil's "inner circle" summoned him from his tree stump at dawn to learn if he had seen his shadow, a message they said Phil communicated in "groundhogese." After Phil's prediction was announced, the crowd repeatedly chanted "six more weeks!"
According to folklore, spring would come early if he didn't see it.
Phil made his appearance as a dangerous incoming winter storm has more than 20 states from the Rocky Mountains to New England — and as far south as Texas — under winter storm warnings, watches or both.
According to records dating back to 1887, Phil has predicted winter more than 100 times. Ten years were lost because no records were kept, organizers said.
Last year, Phil predicted six more weeks of winter.
The event took place virtually last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, depriving the community, which is about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, of a boost from tourists. It was streamed live and seen by more than 15,000 viewers worldwide at one point.
The annual event has its origin in a German legend about a furry rodent.
Punxsutawney Phil may be the most famous groundhog seer but he's certainly not the only one, and one competitor disagreed with his prediction. New York City's Staten Island Chuck expects an early spring, according to Staten Island District Attorney Michael McMahon, who presided over a ceremony that was livestreamed from Chuck's home at the Staten Island Zoo.
"He did not see his shadow. We will have an early spring," McMahon announced.
New York Mayor Eric Adams did not attend the ceremony but said in a videotaped message, "Chuck has been very accurate in his predictions since 1981. I think I can speak for all New Yorkers when I say, 'Chuck, please don't see your shadow.'"
This story was originally published by CBS News on Feb. 2, 2022 at 9:25 a.m. ET.
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