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Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his lair to “see” his shadow on Thursday, in the process predicting six more weeks of winter. But, at this rate, that might not be so bad. The groundhog made his “prediction” on Gobbler's Knob, a tiny hill in the town for which he's named about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. (See more on Punxsutawney Phil.) Temperatures were near freezing when he emerged at dawn — unseasonably warm — and were forecast to climb into the mid-40s in a winter that's brought little snow and only a few notably cold days to much of the East/Time U.S. More here. (AP photo)
Question: Ready for 6 more weeks of winter?
Punxsutawney Phil, the weather predicting groundhog, crawls off the shoulder of handler Ben Hughes during the annual Groundhog Day festivities this morning in Punxsutawney, Pa. The Groundhog Club claimed that Phil did not see his shadow and predicted that winter has ended on Groundhog Day. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Question: Did you realize that winter ends today, because Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow?
Good morning, Netizens…
Well, it’s official, if you can take the word of an East Coast Groundhog. We’re in for six more weeks of winter.
Famed weather prognosticating groundhog Punxsutawney Phil made his annual prediction while being held by Co-Handler Ben Hughes on Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, on the 124th Groundhog Day, February 2, 2010. Phil saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter. REUTERS/Jason Cohn
Oh, great! According to Phil’s prediction this morning, we are going to continue to have another six weeks of winter-like weather. Our winter this year has been more in keeping with lawn chairs, Sea-and-Ski suntan lotion than heavy-duty snow removal equipment. However, were Phil in residence in Spokane, he would not have seen his shadow, which might mean winter is over.
What we need here in Spokane is an equally well promoted animal to accurately predict how long winter will last each year. Since we have an apparent surplus of the little furry creatures, I was thinking along the line of Spokane Stupid, a marmot that resides next door to our own City Hall. I was originally thinking of getting a cranky, morose badger for this job, but since marmots seem less-likely to remove body parts with one crunch of their jaws, marmots it is.
Fresh from her high-visibility role in Washington DC newsbytes, Queen Mary Verner could make it happen with just a wave of her magic scepter. On cue, she whips out Spokane Stupid from his burrow, and marmots being smarter than your average house cat, would immediately piddle on Queen Mary’s designer jacket, revealing his displeasure at being manhandled in front of the TV cameras and throngs of people.
However, this morning, he would not see his shadow, which means winter is coming to an end.
I’m delighted I was able to debunk the claims of Punxsutawney Phil.
More Info: According to German superstition, if a hibernating animal casts a shadow on Feb. 2 — the Christian holiday of Candlemas — winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow is seen, legend says, spring will come early. Since 1887, Phil has seen his shadow 97 times, hasn’t seen it 15 times, and there are no records for nine years, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club. In reality, Phil doesn’t see much of anything. The result is actually decided in advance by 14 members of the club’s Inner Circle, who don tuxedos and top hats for the event.
Question: Are you ready for another 6 weeks of winter?