Punxsutawney Phil Predicts Early Spring - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Right Now:

39°
  • (Feels like 39°)
  • Clear

Today:

  • 49° |
  • 38°

7-Day Forecast

Punxsutawney Phil Predicts Early Spring

AP AP
  • Also on KHQ.comMore>>

  • KHQ Weather Authority

    Become a KHQ Weather Watcher!

    Become a KHQ Weather Watcher!

    Tuesday, April 5 2011 1:22 PM EDT2011-04-05 17:22:36 GMT
    Do you want to be a Weather Watcher for KHQ Local News?  You just need the ability to Skype or UStream from your computer or smart phone.>>
    Do you want to be a Weather Watcher for KHQ Local News?  You just need the ability to Skype or UStream from your computer or smart phone.>>
  • More from the Weather AuthorityMore>>

  • Interactive Radar

    HD Doppler 6i

    Watch the weather as it happens with KHQ's HD Doppler 6i Interactive Radar! >>
    Watch the weather as it happens with KHQ's HD Doppler 6i Interactive Radar! >>
PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) — An end to winter's bitter cold will come soon, according to Pennsylvania's famous groundhog.

Following a recent stretch of weather that's included both record warm temperatures and bitter cold, tornadoes in the South and Midwest and torrential rains in the mid-Atlantic, Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his lair Saturday in front of thousands but didn't see his shadow.

Legend has it that if the furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2 on Gobbler's Knob in west-central Pennsylvania, winter will last six more weeks. But if he doesn't see his shadow, spring will come early.

The prediction is made during a ceremony overseen by a group called the Inner Circle. Members don top hats and tuxedos for the ceremony on Groundhog Day each year.

Bill Deeley, president of the Inner Circle, says that after "consulting" with Phil, he makes the call in deciphering what the world's Punxsutawney Phil has to say about the weather.

Phil is known as the "seer of seers" and "sage of sages." Organizers predicted about 20,000 people this weekend, a larger-than-normal crowd because Groundhog Day falls on a weekend this year.

"I just hope he's right and we get warmer weather soon," said Mike McKown, 45, an X-ray technician who drove up from Lynchburg, Va., with his mother.

Phil's got company in the forecasting department. There's Staten Island Chuck, in New York; General Beauregard Lee, in Atlanta; and Wiarton Willie, in Wiarton, Ontario, among others noted by the National Climactic Data Center "Groundhog Day" Web page.

"Punxsutawney can't keep something this big to itself," the Data Center said. "Other prognosticating rodents are popping up to claim a piece of the action."

Phil is the original — and the best, Punxsutawney partisans insist.

The 1993 movie "Groundhog Day" starring Bill Murray brought even more notoriety to the Pennsylvania party. The record attendance was about 30,000 the year after the movie's release, said Katie Donald, executive director of the Groundhog Club. About 13,000 attend if Feb. 2 falls on a weekday.

Phil's predictions, of course, are not always right on. Last year, for example, he told people to prepare for six more weeks of winter, a minority opinion among his groundhog brethren. The Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University later listed that January to June as the warmest seven-month period since systematic records began being kept in 1895.

"We'll just mark it up as a mistake last year. He'll be correct this year," McKown said hopefully.

___

Ron Todt reported from Philadelphia.

© Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Idaho teen recovering after being hit by a car

    Idaho teen recovering after being hit by a car

    Monday, November 20 2017 4:42 PM EST2017-11-20 21:42:07 GMT

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - A 13-year-old boy is recovering after he was hit by a car on Seltice Way near State Line. The victim said moments after he was hit, the driver fled the scene. The boy's dad told KHQ's Hayley Guenthner that Saturday night around 9:00, his son went to grab a snack from the gas station about a block from their home. He said the car veered off the road and into the parking lot where his son was. When a woman came to 

    >>

    KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho - A 13-year-old boy is recovering after he was hit by a car on Seltice Way near State Line. The victim said moments after he was hit, the driver fled the scene. The boy's dad told KHQ's Hayley Guenthner that Saturday night around 9:00, his son went to grab a snack from the gas station about a block from their home. He said the car veered off the road and into the parking lot where his son was. When a woman came to 

    >>
  • Can you prank your mom? 'The 25 pound turkey challenge'

    Can you prank your mom? 'The 25 pound turkey challenge'

    Wednesday, December 21 2016 2:36 PM EST2016-12-21 19:36:25 GMT

    KHQ.COM - Most mothers can only hope by the time their children grow up and move out of the house, they've learned all the necessary things to be a successful adult, including the basic knowledge that a turkey must be cooked in an oven, or perhaps in a smoker... NOT in a microwave. For this reason a new prank-challenge going around on Facebook is resulting in some hilarious text conversations between mothers and their grown children.

    >>

    KHQ.COM - Most mothers can only hope by the time their children grow up and move out of the house, they've learned all the necessary things to be a successful adult, including the basic knowledge that a turkey must be cooked in an oven, or perhaps in a smoker... NOT in a microwave. For this reason a new prank-challenge going around on Facebook is resulting in some hilarious text conversations between mothers and their grown children.

    >>
  • FBI investigating after Border Patrol agent dies on duty

    FBI investigating after Border Patrol agent dies on duty

    Monday, November 20 2017 1:29 PM EST2017-11-20 18:29:41 GMT

    VAN HORN, Texas (AP) - The FBI is investigating after one U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent died and another was seriously injured while on duty in South Texas.  Border Patrol spokesman Douglas Mosier says Agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner were taken to a hospital Sunday after they were hurt while responding to activity in the Big Bend area. The 36-year-old Martinez died at the hospital.

    >>

    VAN HORN, Texas (AP) - The FBI is investigating after one U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent died and another was seriously injured while on duty in South Texas.  Border Patrol spokesman Douglas Mosier says Agent Rogelio Martinez and his partner were taken to a hospital Sunday after they were hurt while responding to activity in the Big Bend area. The 36-year-old Martinez died at the hospital.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/