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Groundhog Day 2012: Punxsutawney Phil, Staten Island Chuck And More Animals Predict The Weather


First Posted: 02/ 2/2012 6:10 am Updated: 02/ 2/2012 5:57 pm

Punxsutawney Phil hold perhaps the greatest responsibility of any groundhog. Not to exaggerate the situation, but on Groundhog Day, the fate of the weather rests in his hands.

Every February 2 for over 125 years, a groundhog named Phil emerges from his burrow on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania to predict the weather for the rest of the winter season. Legend has it that if Phil sees his shadow, then there will be six weeks of more winter weather. If he doesn't see his shadow, spring will come early.

UPDATE 7:30: Punxsutawney Phil predicts 6 more weeks of winter.

As the Los Angeles Times points out, "Oddly enough, bad weather on Groundhog Day is better than good weather." There are many other groundhogs aside from Phil out there predicting the weather this February, including Staten Island Chuck in New York and Sir Walter Wally in North Carolina.

The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club website writes 'The celebration of Groundhog Day began with Pennsylvania's earliest settlers. They brought with them the legend of Candlemas Day, which states, "For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May...'"

Check out this list of 10 Groundhog Day facts, and click here to check out photos from past celebrations and SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATES from this year's celebration.

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Groundhog Club handler Ron Ploucha holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather prognosticating groundhog, during the 126th celebration of Groundhog Day on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa. Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012. Phil saw his shadow, forecasting six more weeks of winter weather. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

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@ KenJennings : Wouldn't it be great if we could keep the spirit of Groundhog Day in our hearts all year round?

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@ Seth__Rogen : I'd like to be the one to explain Groundhogs Day to the aliens when they come. "See, if the groundhog sees its sha--just kill us. Its okay."

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@ FoodNetwork : This Groundhog's Day menu will keep you warm for 6 more weeks of winter: http://t.co/nLgQxM9E.

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@ YouTube : Is there anything better than watching "Groundhog Day" on Groundhog Day? Watch the full video for free: http://t.co/Yywvkxjq

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Punxsutawney Phil rival Woodstock Willie also made a prediction today, but his forecast differs from Phil's. Willie, who is from Woodstock, Illinois, didn't see his shadow, delighting midwesterners with the promise of an early spring.

More here.

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@ ConanOBrien : I like the name "Groundhog Day" much better than the original "Pull Out The Dirt Rat Time."

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Staten Island Chuck (aka Charles C. Hogg), New York City's answer to Punxsutawney Phil, did not see his shadow this morning and "predicted" an early spring.

He also predicted a New York Giants win at this Sunday's Super Bowl XLVI. Many New Yorkers are hoping that Chuck is right.

More here.

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@ neiltyson : Groundhog Day: Evidence that Weather Forecasters still haven't convinced people that they know what they're talking about.

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Did you know that the most famous groundhog weather predictor's full name is: "Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinaire?"

Learn more here.

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@ MikeBloomberg : Great news from Staten Island Chuck: Spring will come early this year! #groundhogday http://t.co/JBAmmta5

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@ GMA : Just in: Staten Island Chuck did not see his shadow, predicts early spring for NYC #GroundhogDay

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Curious about the men in top hats in Punxsutawney? Click here to learn about the Inner Circle.

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@ willieofficial : Early spring it is!!! http://t.co/h2QkXniq

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@ 680News : #GroundHogDay update: Ontario's celebrated groundhog #WiartonWillie did NOT see his shadow, predicting early spring!

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The Associated Press recently reported that according to the Global Snow Lab at Rutgers University, January was the third-least snowy on record for the the Lower 48.

AP writes:

But there is lots of snow and dangerous cold — it's just elsewhere in the world. Valdez, Alaska, has had 328 inches of snow this season — 10 feet above average — and the state is frigid, with Yukon hitting a record 66 below zero over the weekend.

Nearly 80 people have died from a vicious cold snap in Europe, and much of Asia has been blanketed with snow. This January has been the ninth snowiest since 1966 for Europe and Asia, though for the entire northern hemisphere, it's been about average for snow this season.

More here.

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@ jaketapper : Today's forecast: "It's gonna be cold. it's gonna be gray. And it's gonna last you for the rest of your life." #GroundHogDay

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@ GroundhogPhil : BREAKING: A terrifying shadow = 6 more weeks of winter! No complaining. We haven’t even had winter yet.

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Punxsutawney Phil predicts 6 more weeks of winter

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Punxsutawney wakes up Phil by chanting his name

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The Inner Circle explains, "Phil's prediction is predicated on what Phil tells the President."

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The Inner Circle takes to the stage in Punxsutawney, PA to introduce "the Great Oz of weather forecasting."

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@ GroundhogPhil : Fireworks, the National Anthem, dancing girls and bad lip syncing. Is this the Super Bowl or Groundhog day?

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@ ATL_Events : How can we have 6 more weeks of winter, when we haven't even had 6 weeks of winter yet? #groundhogday

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@ globalmaritimes : This just in: #ShubenacadieSam didn't see his shadow. Spring is on the way folks, as long as you trust adorable rodents. #GroundhogDay

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@ EmilyReddy : Fireworks were a pleasant surprise. Also, amazing the coffee was still hot. Now the sky is lightening a bit at Gobbler's Knob. #GroundhogDay

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@ produceralex : Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now" is rocking the @groundhogphil crowd this morning. We're there live this half hour on @ABCNews4 #chs #chsnews

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@ accuweather : MT @emilyreddy: PA Gov. Corbett asks for an early spring. The 2nd time in the history of #GroundhogDay a seated gov attended.

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@ ChattNoogaChuck : "Yawn." Getting ready for my 11 am forecast announcement @TNAquarium. Hmmm. It feels lonely around here. #hint

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Every day is Groundhog Day for a woodchuck rescuer. Read the LA Times story here.

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Filed by Joanna Zelman  |  Report Corrections