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It’s Groundhog Day: How Many More Days of Winter in Woburn?

Did Phil see his shadow? Will Woburn have six more weeks of winter or an early spring?

 

Spoiler alert:

It's going to be an early spring!

According to the official Punxsutawney Groundhog Club website, Punxutawney Phil emerged from his borrow at 7:28 a.m. and saw no shadow

Unlike her prognosticating friend Punxsutawney Phil, our local groundhog, Ms. G of Drumlin Farm in Lincoln, did see her shadow, forecasting six more weeks of winter. 

So, who should we believe? The folks at Drumlin Farm say you shouldn't put away those winter coats just yet. 


GROUNDHOG DAY HISTORY

How did such an unassuming creature, whose yearly prediction is accurate only 39 percent of the time, become the center of such an enduring tradition? As it turns out, Phil and his counterparts have been predicting the weather for quite some time—since 1887, according to an article in the Huffington Post. And though the tradition’s origins are unclear, it is believed to have come from ancient European weather lore in which a badger or sacred bear predicted the weather. The tradition also has religious origins, as it shares similarities with Candlemas Day, which is also on Feb. 2.

But that’s not the whole story of Phil, his lore or his longevity—not even close. Other facts of note, gathered from various resources, include:

  • There’s only one Phil. Although groundhogs live for around 10 years in captivity, Phil loyalists insist there has only been one Punxsutawney Phil since his first appearance in the 1880s. According to the official website of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, Phil is given a sip of special groundhog punch every year, which extends his life and allows him to keep making predictions. (csmonitor.com)
  • The average groundhog is 20 inches long and normally weighs from 12 to 15 pounds. Punxsutawney Phil weighs about 20 pounds and is 22 inches long. (groundhog.org)
  • In the years following the release of the film Groundhog Day, crowds numbering as high as 30,000 have visited Gobbler's Knob, the tiny hill in Punxsutawney where the yearly ceremony takes place. (Huffington Post)
  • He may be older than your grandpa’s grandpa, but Phil has adapted with the times. He broke telecommunications ground for rodents in 2010 by allowing people to sign up for a text message notification of his prediction and also updates his Facebook status and tweets his prediction, as he did this morning. (csmonitor.com)

Here are Phil's past few predictions (via Punxutawny Groundhog Club):

2012 Phil saw his shadow 2011 No shadow 2010 Phil saw his shadow and told his prediction to new Inner Circle President Bill Deeley. 2009 Phil saw his shadow and Inner Circle President Bill Cooper completed his final interpretation and retired at Gobblers Knob.
Earnhardt February 02, 2013 at 07:43 PM
so how does this work? if he sees his shadow it's 6 more weeks of winter, if he does not see his shadow, it's 6 more weeks until spring. One and the same, A bunch of people with too much time on their hands dishing out animal cruelty by keeping a groundhog in captivity, then dragging into the hot spotlights for nonsense,
blab February 03, 2013 at 03:01 AM
get a life you tree hugger
Earnhardt February 03, 2013 at 03:16 AM
LOLOL Great comeback blab! enjoy 6 more weeks of winter,,,,,,
Frank Kautz February 03, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Ever been to PA in the Winter? I grew up there. There just isn't a whole lot to do, so a bunch of guys a couple hundred years ago pulled a rodent out of the ground and said, let's drink. Works for me. Frank
mdonahue February 04, 2013 at 05:34 PM
I think it is all in fun. Loved the movie Groundhog Day! It was sunny here so I'm going with Ms. Groundhog at Drumlin Farm. We have probably 8 more weeks of winter - bring on the snow !

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