- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 3, 2010

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. | The groundhog has spoken. And it’s bad news.

Punxsutawney Phil has emerged to see his shadow before chilly revelers in Pennsylvania, meaning winter will last another six weeks.

German tradition holds that if a hibernating animal sees its 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.

The Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club annually announces Phil’s forecast at dawn on Gobbler’s Knob, about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Phil’s announcement came before hundreds of onlookers who huddled as temperatures hovered in the teens.

Phil did show he might be an expert at shadow spotting, but texting? Not so much.

About two hours after the “spotting,” the rodent’s inaugural stab at text-messaging appeared. Phil also sent a Twitter update at about that time.

Officials with the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club didn’t immediately return calls about Phil’s texting skills.

The Groundhog Club says since 1887 Phil has predicted more winter weather by seeing his shadow nearly 100 times, but there are no records for nine years.

Last year, Phil also saw his shadow as well as 2008. He hasn’t predicted an early spring since 2007.


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