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Groundhog Day: How Long Does Winter Last in America?

Groundhog Phil predicts six more weeks of winter in America.
©REUTERS/Alan Freed

On the traditional Groundhog Day, Punxtawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter for America.

Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog is taken out of his burrow early Thursday morning in front of thousands of spectators during the annual “Groundhog Day” at Gobbler’s Knob near Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania.

Groundhog Phil predicts six more weeks of winter in America

The famous marmot later spotted his own shadow, who, according to organizers, was dressed in black coats and top hats. According to tradition, it marks six more weeks of winter. If Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog doesn’t see his shadow, the tradition is that spring comes early.

Groundhog fill predictions are not very reliable

However, the cute rodents have only a limited knack for weather forecasts: According to the US climate agency NOAA, Punxsutawney Phil has been correct only 40 percent of the time over the past ten years.

Groundhog Day has a long tradition in the United States

“Groundhog Day” on February 2 each year has a long tradition in the United States. The Punxsutawney Marmot Club has been around since 1887. This custom goes back to German settlers who wanted to draw conclusions from marmot behavior when seeding began.

The American comedy popularized Groundhog Day around the world

The tradition was made famous worldwide by the 1993 comedy Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray and Andy McDowell. Murray plays a weather forecaster who gets stuck in time and keeps waking up on “Groundhog Day.”

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