Don’t fret, Minneapolis (forecast high of 12 degrees F). Take heart, Pittsburgh (26 degrees, 80 percent chance of snow). Spring is on the way.
That was the forecast Saturday (Feb. 2) from Punxsutawney Phil, who made his annual Groundhog Day appearance in Pennsylvania. Phil didn’t see his shadow, and lore has it that when that happens, an early spring is on the way.
Hundreds of onlookers took shuttle buses in the pre-dawn hours to Gobbler’s Knob, Phil’s home outside the town northeast of Pittsburgh. After a fireworks display, Phil emerged from his burrow to make his forecast.
“It doesn’t matter where you are from, if you get the Groundhog Day gene it is a pilgrimage you are going to take,” Bill Cooper, a member of the Groundhog Club, which sponsors the event, tells Reuters. “It breaks up the monotony of winter. It has existed for 127 years, not because it is the best meteorological science known to man but because it is fun.”
And hey, maybe he’s right. By next weekend, temperatures in Minneapolis are forecast to be all the way up to the mid-20s.