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Tuesday 28 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Wenceslaus

Groundhog Day: Why 6 more weeks of winter may be the better deal

Anthony Quintano - Flickr - CC

The Daily Catch - J-P Mauro - published on 02/02/17

By now I’m sure we all know that Punxsutawney Phil has seen his shadow and reported that we have more winter to come.

“It’s mighty cold weather, you’ve been braving. Is it more winter or is it spring that you’re craving? Since you’ve been up all night and starting to tottle, I, Punxsutawney Phil, shall not dawdle,” the proclamation read. “My faithful followers, I could clearly see a beautiful, perfect shadow of me. Six more weeks of winter, it shall be!” Records dating to 1887 show Phil has now predicted more winter 103 times while forecasting an early spring just 18 times – including last year. There are no records for the remaining years. Jeff Grube, member of the “Groundhog Inner Circle,” told CBS Pittsburgh that the movie “Groundhog Day” starring Bill Murray has increased the crowds at Gobbler’s Knob since its release in 1993.

However, what would would have been in store for us if Phil didn’t see his shadow?

According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then the spring season will arrive early, some time before the vernal equinox; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its den, and winter weather will persist for six more weeks.

[Read More:Why ‘Groundhog Day’ is worth watching again. And again. And again.]

Now, since the vernal equinox takes place between March 19th and 21st, it would mean a lack of shadow could lead to 46-48 more days, that’s almost 7 weeks of winter.

Thanks, but no thanks. I’m quite happy with my shadow.

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