Rattlesnake predicts winter over for Arizona

Feb. 2, 1987
share with facebook
share with twitter

PHOENIX -- Arizona's answer to groundhog Punxsutawney Phil slithered out of his hole Monday, saw his shadow, and pronounced the end of winter for the Grand Canyon State.

Tradition has it that Agua Fria Freddie, Arizona's prognosticating rattlesnake, works in ways similar to his Pennsylvania counterpart, although his findings this spring were different.

Punxsutawney Phil forecast six more weeks of winter. Freddie predicted spring is around the corner.

Pioneers, discovering Arizona had no groundhogs, assigned Freddie the Feb. 2 Groundhog Day chore, according to the National Weather Service.

The early settlers found rattlesnakes to be dependable forecasters, provided observers understood that if the sidewinder saw his shadow, winter was over, the weather service said.

The trick was to get low enough to the ground to find out.

Trending Stories