The annual Groundhog Day is here again!
According to folklore, if a groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, spring will come early.
On the morning of February 2, 2022, spectators gathered outside Punxsutawney Phil’s burrow and anxiously awaited his prediction.
Punxsutawney Phil Performs His Groundhog Day Duty!
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Punxsutawney Phil did indeed see his shadow, which means that fans can expect six more weeks of winter.
It hardly comes as a surprise to those who are currently under more winter storm advisories, but it was a disappointment to fans who had been calling for spring in the icy morning air.
Thousands of people had gathered around Gobbler’s Knob as members of Punxsutawney Phil’s “inner circle” roused him from his burrows. After his prediction was announced, the throng repeatedly chanted, “Six more weeks!”
Last year, the event was held virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Over 15,000 viewers from around the world tuned in to watch the 150 cardboard cutouts of fans oversee Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction.
The annual myth about groundhogs being able to forecast the come of spring has roots in German folklore. The tradition has been dated all the way back to 1887. According to records, Punxsutawney Phil has predicted that there will be six more weeks of winter more than one hundred times.
In both 2019 and 2020, Punxsutawney Phil forecast an early spring. Last year, Punxsutawney Phil also determined that there would be six more weeks of winter.
Unfortunately for New Jersey fans, there is one groundhog who did not get an opportunity to see his shadow this morning.
New Jersey’s Milltown Mel Passes Away Just Before The Annual Groundhog Day Ceremony
“We Wranglers are sad to report that Milltown Mel recently crossed over the rainbow bridge,” the post read. “Considering the average lifespan of a Groundhog is about 3 years, that is not such a shock, but Mel left us at a tough time of year, when most of his fellow groundhogs are hibernating…so
no babies will be available to replace him until this Spring.”
“We tried everywhere to get a stand-in, but to no avail!” they added. “On top of that, the county is not currently renting out the big Showmobile stage due to the pandemic, so we would have had that issue as well.”
They concluded the message, writing, “We will work hard on getting us a new weather prognosticator for next year, till then please check out what all of Mel’s cousins have to say on Feb 2nd.”
Although Punxsutawney Phil is one of the most famous groundhog predictors around, he is far from the only one out there making his prediction.
Punxsutawney Phil Claims Winter, Staten Island Zoo’s Chuck Begs To Differ!
Punxsutawney Phil reported that there will be six more weeks of winter, but Staten Island Zoo’s Chuck begs to differ!
On Wednesday morning, the Staten Island Zoo’s official Facebook page was updated with news concerning their own groundhog, appropriately named Chuck.
“You heard it here, folks! Staten Island Chuck did not see his shadow so expect spring to be on its way!” they wrote alongside the snap.
“Looks like our famous little groundhog has been dreaming about the warm weather and some of the fun things that come along with it,” they added. “Thanks to all those who joined us on FaceBook live to enjoy Staten Island’s treasured biggest little zoo for another historical day.”
The Staten Island Zoo admitted in an earlier post that Staten Island Chuck has an accuracy of about 85% so it remains to be seen whether Punxsutawney Phil or Staten Island Chuck will be correct. If there was only another groundhog to break the tie…
Ontario’s Wiarton Willie & Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam Have Something To Say!
According to Canada’s Global News, Canada’s two top celebrity groundhogs are also butting heads.
Nova Scotia’s celebrity groundhog, Shubenacadie Sam, is predicting six more weeks of winter. However, Ontario’s Wiarton Willie claims that an early spring is on its way.
Although some people are lamenting several more weeks of icy temperatures, Shubenacadie Wildlife Park head interpreter Tabitha Cox tried to put a positive spin on the disappointing news.
“That means six more weeks of possible snow days, kids,” Cox said. “More time to build snowmen. More time to go skiing. Long winter ahead for us.”