Handlers: Punxsutawney Phil predicts longer winter - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Handlers: Punxsutawney Phil predicts longer winter

Posted: Updated:
Punxsutawney Phil is held by Ron Ploucha after emerging from his burrow Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, on Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., to see his shadow and forecast six more weeks of winter weather. Punxsutawney Phil is held by Ron Ploucha after emerging from his burrow Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, on Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., to see his shadow and forecast six more weeks of winter weather.

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) — Emerging from his lair on Super Bowl Sunday, groundhog Punxsutawney Phil couldn't predict the winner of the big game but his handlers said he was sure of his weather forecast: There will be six more weeks of winter.

Pennsylvania's famed groundhog was roused from slumber at 7:28 a.m. Sunday and, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, directed handler Bill Deeley to a scroll that contained the prediction — along with a Super Bowl reference.

As usual, thousands of fans turned out on Groundhog Day to see the furry rodent, the most famous of a small group of groundhogs said to forecast the weather.

Legend has it that if the groundhog sees his shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last another month-and-a-half. If he doesn't see it, spring will come early.

In reality, Phil's prediction is decided ahead of time by a group called the Inner Circle, whose members don top hats and tuxedos for the annual ceremony on Gobbler's Knob, the tiny hill in the town for which he's named about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

The prediction fell on Super Bowl Sunday for the first time. The closest the game previously came to coinciding with Groundhog Day was in 2009, when the just-down-the-road Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 the night before Phil's forecast.

This year's NFL championship pitting the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., will be the Super Bowl's 48th installment, while Phil has been predicting the weather since 1886.

In a nod to the game, Phil's forecast came in the form of a Super Bowl-themed poem:

"A Super Bowl winner I will not predict,

But my weather forecast, you cannot contradict,

That's not a football lying beside me

It's my shadow you see

So, six more weeks of winter it shall be!"

This year's Groundhog Day celebration marks a winter that has brought extreme cold to vast stretches of the country, including areas of the South wholly unaccustomed to severe winter weather. A snow and ice storm paralyzed Atlanta and other Southern cities last week.

Phil has now seen his shadow 101 times while failing to see it 17 times, according to the Inner Circle. There are no records for the remaining years.

The National Climatic Data Center has put Phil's forecasts to the test and found them sorely lacking, declaring the groundhog has "no predictive skill."

"It really isn't a 'bright' idea to take a measure such as a groundhog's shadow and use it as a predictive meteorological tool for the entire United States," the data center says on its website, helpfully if somewhat obviously.

Other prognosticating groundhogs include Staten Island Chuck in New York and General Beauregard Lee in Atlanta.

___

Rubinkam reported from northeast Pennsylvania.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Entertainment NewsEntertainment NewsMore>>

  • R. Kelly's trip to Dubai off for now as contracts reworked

    R. Kelly's trip to Dubai off for now as contracts reworked

    Friday, March 22 2019 12:11 AM EDT2019-03-22 04:11:40 GMT
    Saturday, March 23 2019 9:01 PM EDT2019-03-24 01:01:38 GMT
    (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2014 file photo, recording artist R. Kelly performs at The 56th Annual Grammy Awards Salute to Industry Icons with Clive Davis in Beverly Hills, Calif. A Chicago judge is expected to...(Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2014 file photo, recording artist R. Kelly performs at The 56th Annual Grammy Awards Salute to Industry Icons with Clive Davis in Beverly Hills, Calif. A Chicago judge is expected to...
    (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2014 file photo, recording artist R. Kelly performs at The 56th Annual Grammy Awards Salute to Industry Icons with Clive Davis in Beverly Hills, Calif. A Chicago judge is expected to...(Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP, File). FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2014 file photo, recording artist R. Kelly performs at The 56th Annual Grammy Awards Salute to Industry Icons with Clive Davis in Beverly Hills, Calif. A Chicago judge is expected to...
    A Chicago judge is expected to rule on whether to let R. Kelly to travel overseas to perform several concerts to help the cash-strapped singer pay legal and other bills as he faces sex-abuse charges. 
    A Chicago judge is expected to rule on whether to let R. Kelly to travel overseas to perform several concerts to help the cash-strapped singer pay legal and other bills as he faces sex-abuse charges. 
  • Papa John's scores Shaq to help revive its image

    Papa John's scores Shaq to help revive its image

    Friday, March 22 2019 11:51 AM EDT2019-03-22 15:51:12 GMT
    Saturday, March 23 2019 9:01 PM EDT2019-03-24 01:01:28 GMT
    Papa John's has a new pitchman: Shaquille O'Neal. 
    Papa John's has a new pitchman: Shaquille O'Neal. 
  • Barack Obama congratulates A-Rod J. Lo on their engagement

    Barack Obama congratulates A-Rod J. Lo on their engagement

    Friday, March 22 2019 11:41 AM EDT2019-03-22 15:41:12 GMT
    Saturday, March 23 2019 9:01 PM EDT2019-03-24 01:01:33 GMT
    (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File). FILe - In this Feb. 24, 2019 file photo, Jennifer Lopez, left, and Alex Rodriguez arrive at the Oscars  at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.  Barack Obama is feeling the love about the engagement of Lopez an...(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File). FILe - In this Feb. 24, 2019 file photo, Jennifer Lopez, left, and Alex Rodriguez arrive at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Barack Obama is feeling the love about the engagement of Lopez an...
    (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File). FILe - In this Feb. 24, 2019 file photo, Jennifer Lopez, left, and Alex Rodriguez arrive at the Oscars  at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.  Barack Obama is feeling the love about the engagement of Lopez an...(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File). FILe - In this Feb. 24, 2019 file photo, Jennifer Lopez, left, and Alex Rodriguez arrive at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Barack Obama is feeling the love about the engagement of Lopez an...
    Barack Obama is feeling the love about the engagement of Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez. 
    Barack Obama is feeling the love about the engagement of Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2019 KFMB-TV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.