On a day when Chicago and Boston are digging out after a massive snowfall, it's hard to believe it will ever be warm again. But groundhog Punxsutawney Phil has spoken – and he says spring is nearly here.
At the annual Groundhog Day celebration this morning in Punxsutawney, Pa., Phil was gently lifted from his sleep spot to perform his duties. "He surveyed his surroundings carefully and found that there was no shadow around. So an early spring it will be," a tuxedoed member of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club's Inner Circle announced. "The sky is clear, prepare yourself for warmth."
This morning marked Phil's 125th prediction, stemming from a tradition that began in 1887. Though there have been several Phils over the years – the Inner Circle doesn't reveal how many – the revered rodent has seen his shadow 98 times, and hasn't seen it just 16 times. Record keeping of the event didn't begin until 1900.
For what it's worth, New York City's own groundhog, Staten Island Chuck, agreed with Phil's forecast. Could two weather-predicting rodents really be wrong?