WeatherWebb

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Groundhog Day, Phil says 6 more weeks of winter

on February 2, 2015

Today, the 2nd February, marks Groundhog day in many parts of America, but especially Punxsutawney.  The people of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania have been celebrating the Folk Lore Celebration, Groundhog day, since 1886. The whole day revolves around Phil, the weather forecasting groundhog. According to the stories, Phil drank the “elixir of life” and has therefore been able to make accurate weather forecasts for the past 125 years! (The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, 2015)

Groundhog Day 2005 in Punxutawney, Pennsylvania

Groundhog Day 2005 in Punxutawney, Pennsylvania

On 2nd February, Phil wakes up and comes out of his burrow on Gobbler’s Knob. Legend has it, that if he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter, and if he doesn’t see his shadow, spring will start early. Once Phil has come out of his burrow and seen/not seen his shadow, he speaks to the Groundhog Club president in “Groundhogese” and tells him what he expects over the next 6 weeks. The Groundhog Club president then translates the Groundhogese to the rest of the world.

Groundhog day is probably best known around the world, after the release of Groundhog Day, the film in 1993. The film sees Billy Murray stuck in a time loop after complaining too much about having to cover the Groundhog Day celebrations as a TV weatherman.

Groundhog Day the film, staring Bill Murray (1993)

Groundhog Day the film, staring Bill Murray (1993)

So what has Phil forecast for the people of Punxsutawney this year? 6 more weeks of winter! Based on current meteorological conditions this very likely, well at least for the next 2 weeks. Temperatures will struggle to rise above zero during the next 2 weeks and there is the potential for temperatures to plummet to -20C overnight on Friday. Snow is also possible on Thursday and Sunday making it feel very wintry.

The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club home page from 2nd February 2015

The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club home page from 2nd February 2015


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