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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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Above average temperatures will continue today with highs in the mid to upper 80s. A cold front will move through the area late this afternoon in the early evening giving us the chance for a few showers and storms. A few isolated showers and storms have developed ahead of the front and could give us the chance for rain late this morning as well. Winds will be breezy today from the south ahead of our cold front. Once the cold front moves through, temperatures will be much cooler for the rest of the week. Highs will be below average in the 70s. Dry and sunny conditions look to continue through the rest of the work week into the weekend.
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