Every Groundhog Day weather-predicting rodents get their moment in the sun (or not), taking on a big question — will there be six more weeks of winter, or will spring arrive early?
The custom, which dates back to the 19th century, goes that if a groundhog sees its shadow it means winter will continue for six more weeks. If it doesn’t, it means spring is on the way.
The country’s most famous groundhog, Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil, emerged from his burrow at Gobbler's Knob early Friday to proclaim to the crowd that he did see his shadow, signaling a longer winter.
Phil’s ceremonial unveiling is made out to be a big reveal, but the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle, which stages the event, actually makes his “prediction” in advance.
Local groundhogs get in on the meteorology act every Feb. 2, too, as Holtsville Hal, Malverne Mel and Staten Island Chuck make their forecasts.