A furry critter in a western Pennsylvania town has predicted six more weeks of winter during an annual Groundhog Day celebration.
People gathered at Gobbler’s Knob on Thursday as members of Punxsutawney Phil’s “inner circle” summoned him from his tree stump at dawn to learn if he has seen his shadow.
According to folklore, if he sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter.
If he does not, spring comes early.
The “inner circle” is a group of local dignitaries responsible for planning the events – as well as feeding and caring for Phil.
The annual event in Punxsutawney originated from a German legend about a furry rodent.
The event in the community about 65 miles north-east of Pittsburgh attracts thousands each year.
This year, Phil’s prediction came during a week when a mess of ice, sleet and snow has lingered across much of the southern US.
According to records dating back to 1887, Phil has predicted winter more than 100 times.
Ten years were lost because no records were kept, organisers said.
The 2021 and 2022 forecasts also called for six more weeks of winter.
While Punxsutawney Phil may be the most famous groundhog seer, he is not the only one.
New York City’s Staten Island Chuck made his prediction for an early spring during an event at the Staten Island Zoo on Thursday.