Six more weeks of winter? Punxsutawney Phil makes his Groundhog Day prediction

PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA - FEBRUARY 02:Handler AJ Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil after he did not see his shadow predicting an early spring during the 133rd annual Groundhog Day festivities on February 2, 2019 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Groundhog Day is a popular tradition in the United States and Canada. A crowd of upwards of 30,000 people spent a night of revelry awaiting the sunrise and the groundhog's exit from his winter den. If Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow he regards it as an omen of six more weeks of bad weather and returns to his den. Early spring arrives if he does not see his shadow, causing Phil to remain above ground. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images) (Jeff Swensen, 2019 Getty Images)

NBC – It's Groundhog Day... again. And this year Punxsutawney Phil declared: "Spring will be early, it's a certainty."

At Sunrise on Sunday, members of the famous rodent's top hat-wearing inner circle revealed his 134th "prognostication," according to the Pennsylvania Tourism Office.

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Awoken by a large crowd's chants of "Phil!" the groundhog was hoisted in the air for the assembly to hail before making his decision.

He then grasped the glove of a handler as a member of his inner circle announced that spring would come early this year.

Legend has it that if the creature casts a shadow on Feb. 2, winter will continue for six more weeks. If not, spring comes early.

In reality, Phil's prediction is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler's Knob, a tiny hill just outside Punxsutawney, around 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

From 2015 through 2019, he has predicted six more weeks of winter thrice and an early spring twice.

But according to records dating back to 1887, the Pennsylvanian prognosticator has predicted more winter more than 100 times, making this year's forecast a rare one overall.

Elsewhere, in New York City, Staten Island Chuck also predicted an early spring. The critter who resides at Staten Island Zoo groundhog also did not see his shadow.

The rodent has “a prediction success rate of nearly 80 percent,” the zoo claims on its website.

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