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Punxsutawney Phil feels an early spring coming

Posted By Kristen Butler, UPI.com   |   Feb. 2, 2013 at 10:12 AM   |   Comments

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Feb. 2 (UPI) -- Punxsutawney's famous forecaster failed to find his shadow when he popped out of his Gobbler's Knob burrow Saturday morning, which means spring is coming early this year.

Groundhog's Day is the midpoint between winter solstice and the spring equinox. Despite gray skies and a temperature around ten degrees in western Pennsylvania, Phil predicted an early spring.

The legend of the groundhog's prediction is rooted in the medieval belief that hibernating animals hit snooze when they see their shadows and go back to sleep for six weeks. The NOAA disagrees, saying Phil's forecasts have shown "no predictive skill" lately. The groundhog weatherman has predicted only 16 early springs in the last 127 years.

In this case, however, the NOAA agrees that warmer weather is on the horizon. The Punxsutawney prognosticator must have learned his lesson last year when he predicted six more weeks of winter just before the warmest March on record.

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