Both Groundhogs In Pa. and Ohio Saw Their Shadows

By Jeff Swensen - Getty Images

(Undated) – Competing furry forecasters have come up with the same prognostication:  six more weeks of winter is the forecast on this Groundhog Day.

Punxsutawney Phil, the most famous four-legged forecaster, saw his shadow this morning (or at least, his handlers said he did), meaning winter will continue.  Not to be outdone, Buckeye Chuck, Ohio’s official forecaster, had the same prediction.

Harvey Webster of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History says Groundhog Day started as a European tradition of farmers asking each other around Candlemas Day if winter was about to end, and sometimes would say to each other that a hedgehog or badger had seen its shadow.  That tradition was carried to North America, with groundhogs replacing animals that are native to Europe.

Webster says that if a groundhog does come out of its burrow in February, it’s because it’s a male, looking for a female groundhog to mate with.  Otherwise, they hibernate during the winter.

(Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)


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