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Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil does not see shadow, early spring coming

By Andrew V. Pestano
Groundhog Day: Punxsutawney Phil does not see shadow, early spring coming
Punxsutawney Phil, on his 130th anniversary, predicted an early spring, though don't break out the Bermuda shorts yet. The groundhog has accurately predicted the length of winter only 39 percent of the time. File Photo by George M Powers/UPI | License Photo

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa., Feb. 2 (UPI) -- It's Groundhog Day and Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, emerged from his hole without seeing his shadow Tuesday. Prepare for an early spring.

"Is this current warm weather more than a trend? Perchance this winter has come to an end," Phil said through his top hat-wearing translator. "There is no shadow to be cast. An early spring is my forecast!"

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Celebrations began at 3 a.m. in Punxsutawney's Gobbler's Knob for the festival-like event where the groundhog made his 130th prediction. Turnout for the event may have set a weekday record.

As far as accuracy goes, the StormFax Weather Almanac said that since the groundhog began predicting the length of winter in 1887, Phil has been right about 39 percent of the time.

Groundhog Day is not without controversy. Last year, New Hampshire police said they issued an arrest warrant for Punxsutawney Phil for failing to disclose the extent of the lasting winter -- also warning civilians that America's most famous groundhog was "armed and dangerous."

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