Six More Weeks Of Winter, Punxsutawney Phil Says - NBC New York

Six More Weeks Of Winter, Punxsutawney Phil Says



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    Punxsutawney Phil has got some bad news. Unless you want six more weeks of winter. Then he's got some good news.

    PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) — The world's most famous groundhog saw his shadow Monday morning, predicting that this already long winter will last for six more weeks.

    Punxsutawney Phil emerged just after dawn in front of an estimated 13,000 witnesses, many dressed in black and gold to celebrate the Pittsburgh Steelers' Super Bowl victory the night before.

    "There's significant buzz from the Steelers win and quite a few Terrible Towels floating from the crowd," said Mickey Rowley, deputy secretary for tourism in Pennsylvania.

    The annual ritual takes place on Gobbler's Knob, a tiny hill in Punxsutawney, a borough of about 6,100 residents some 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

    Groundhog Day: More Winter Coming

    [NEWSC] Groundhog Day: More Winter Coming
    Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today. Legend says we're now in for another six weeks of winter.Unfortunately, Phil said it's not quite time to start packing away the winter clothes just yet.
    (Published Monday, Feb. 2, 2009)

    Phil was as docile as usual, but the same couldn't be said for his grumpy New York City counterpart, Staten Island Chuck, who bit Mayor Michael Bloomberg during his annual forecasting ceremony on Monday.

    "It nicked his hand," said Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser.

    The groundhog, officially named Charles G. Hogg, drew blood from the billionaire, but Bloomberg was told there was no risk of rabies. The 2-year-old animal was born and raised in captivity and has had no interaction with other animals.

    The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club announced the forecast in a short proclamation, in which Phil acknowledged the Steelers' 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

    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.

    Back in Pennsylvania, Rowley said the Groundhog Day festivities are the state's largest tourist gathering in the winter. And if Phil's forecast proves correct, it should bring even more tourists to the state.

    "It's six more weeks of skiing," Rowley said.