Pennsylvania groundhog set to ‘predict’ whether winter ends

Inner Circle President Bill Deeley shows Punxsutawney Phil to tourists a day before Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, Pa., on Monday, Feb. 1, 2016. Members of the Inner Circle planned to reveal their forecast at sunrise Tuesday. A German legend says that if a furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last an additional six weeks. If not, spring comes early. In reality, Phil’s “prediction” is decided ahead of time by the group. (Mark Pynes/PennLive.com via AP)

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) — The handlers of Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog are set to predict whether we’ll have early spring-like weather or have to suffer through the end of winter.

Members of Punxsutawney Phil’s top hat-wearing inner circle plan to reveal their forecast at sunrise, just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

A German legend has it that if a furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last an additional six weeks. If not, spring comes early.

In reality, Phil’s “prediction” is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler’s Knob. The tiny hill is located just outside the town of Punxsutawney, about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Records going back to 1887 have Phil forecasting more winter 102 times while forecasting an early spring just 17 times. There are no records for the remaining years.

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