Punxy Phil sees no shadow, predicts warmer days ahead
Groundhog Club Co-handler John Griffiths holds the weather predicting groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, as he is surrounded by photographers at Groundhog Day festivities in Punxsutawney this morning.
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You might want to keep those parkas on hand for the snow headed our way this weekend, but after that it looks to be clear sailing to spring, according to the world's most famous groundhog.
As thousands watched, Punxsutawney Phil, Pennsylvania's prognosticating rodent, emerged from his burrow on Gobbler's Knob this morning and did not see his shadow.
That means an early spring is on the way instead of six more weeks of winter.
The prediction enjoyed an official seal of approval with Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley on hand to witness the 127th year of the Groundhog Day tradition.
The prediction is made during a ceremony overseen by a group called the Inner Circle. Members don top hats and tuxedos for the ceremony on Groundhog Day each year.
Bill Deeley, president of the Inner Circle, says that after "consulting" with Phil, he makes the call in deciphering what the world's Punxsutawney Phil has to say about the weather.
Phil is known as the "seer of seers" and "sage of sages." Organizers predicted about 20,000 people this weekend, a larger-than-normal crowd because Groundhog Day falls on a weekend this year.
First Published February 2, 2013 8:23 am