It's Groundhog Day

By Holly R. Bogardus,

While many themselves are re-emerging from the winter, heading back to work and school, we seem to overlook that today is indeed another holiday. (And no, I don’t mean Super Bowl Sunday). It's Groundhog Day!

Since 1887, a groundhog has predicted an early or late winter for the United States. As folklore goes, should he see his shadow we will have another six weeks of winter. If he does not, we can prepare for an early spring.

At dawn this morning, groundhog Punxsutawney Phil did indeed see his shadow, according to the Associated Press.

This is a gloomy, but not unexpected, forecast for those in the Eastern United States who have already been suffering through a bitter winter.

While many dispute the idea of an animal predicting the onset of spring, Accuweather.com states that Phil “has a tendency to get it right,” with an 80 percent accuracy in predicting longer winters. Not too shabby, for a groundhog who hasn’t taken a single meteorology course.

While considered the most famous, Punxsutawney Phil is only one in a group of weather predicting groundhogs across the Unites States and Canada. Others include General Beauregard Lee of Georgia, Chuck of Staten Island and Wiarton Willie of Ontario, Canada.

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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