Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter

Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Ben Hughes, handler of the weather-predicting groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, holds Phil after removing him from his stump at Gobbler's Knob on Groundhog Day, Monday, Feb. 2, 2009, in Punxsutawney, Pa. The Groundhog Club said Phil saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The world's most famous groundhog saw his shadow Monday morning, predicting that this already-long winter will last for six more weeks.

Punxsutawney Phil emerged just after dawn in front of an estimated 13,000 witnesses.

The annual ritual takes place on Gobbler's Knob, a tiny hill in Punxsutawney, a borough of about 6,100 residents some 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

According to German superstition, if a hibernating animal casts a shadow Feb. 2 -- the Christian holiday of Candlemas -- winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow is seen, legend says, spring will come early.

Since 1887, Phil has seen his shadow 97 times, hasn't seen it 15 times, and there are no records for nine years, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

-- AP

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