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Groundhog Day Fast Facts

Here's some background information about Groundhog Day, an Am...

Posted: Jan 26, 2018 12:30 AM
Updated: Jan 26, 2018 12:30 AM

Here's some background information about Groundhog Day, an American tradition that is meant to predict when spring will arrive.

February 2, 2018 - Groundhog Day.

Facts: February 2 is Groundhog Day.

The groundhog wakes up from hibernation on February 2.

If the groundhog sees its shadow when it emerges from its burrow, there will be six more weeks of winter.

If it does not see its shadow, spring will arrive soon.

This tradition started in Europe as Candlemas Day. Germans who settled in Pennsylvania in the 1700s brought the custom to America.

Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil is the most well-known, but more than a dozen states celebrate with their own groundhogs, such as Georgia's General Beauregard Lee and Buckeye Chuck in Ohio.

Punxsutawney Phil - in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania His full name is "Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary.''

February 2, 1886 - The Punxsutawney Spirit newspaper proclaims this date as Pennsylvania's first official Groundhog Day celebration.

Phil has correctly predicted the beginning of spring 100% of the time, according to his owners. However, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the ground hog shows "no predictive skill" for the last few years.

1986 - Phil travels to Washington, DC to meet with President Ronald Reagan.

1993 - Columbia Pictures releases the movie, "Groundhog Day," starring Bill Murray.

In the years following the release of the movie, crowds numbering as high as 30,000 have visited Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney.

1995 - Phil appears on the Oprah Winfrey show.

January 27, 2010 - The animal rights group PETA suggests using a robotic groundhog in place of Punxsutawney Phil.

February 2, 2010 - For the first time, fans can register for a text message alert of Phil's prediction.

February 2, 2017 - Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter.

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Dangerous heat will move into the area today with highs reaching the upper 90s to triple digits. Heat index values will likely be between 100-106. Use caution when spending time outside this afternoon. Hot and humid conditions will continue on Friday with highs back in the upper 90s and lower 100s with heat index values reaching triple digits. A cold front will move through the area Friday afternoon into the evening bringing the chance for a few showers and thunderstorms. Scattered rain chances will continue through the weekend with highs in the lower 90s. Highs in the 80s will return for the beginning of next week.
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