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Punxsutawney Phil predicts an extended winter on Groundhog Day

By Megan Pickett,


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah ( ABC4 ) – It’s another day in the books for Punxsutawney Phil, as he predicted 6 more weeks of winter Thursday morning.

Utah’s weather seems to agree with Punxsutawney Phil, as areas in Utah have received 150- 223%  more snowpack than usual. This prediction marks the 108th time the groundhog has seen his shadow since 1887.

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The Groundhog day tradition, celebrated in the United States and Canada, started in western Pennsylvania. It stemmed from a Pennsylvanian Dutch superstition that states if a groundhog sees its shadow, winter will continue for 6 more weeks, but if the groundhog doesn’t see its shadow because of clouds, spring will arrive early.

The lore stems from German-speaking areas, that celebrated Candlemas, in which a badger was used to predict whether or not there would be a long winter. The badger is non-native to the East Coast which is why the groundhog was chosen instead.


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So how accurate is this prediction system? According to Washington Post , while the groundhog was right in more cities than not over the last 30 years, there doesn’t seem to be any real correlation to the groundhog’s prediction.

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