Photo in the News: Groundhog Sees More Winter Ahead

Photo: Man in tophat holds groundhog before crowd
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February 3, 2006—Fur, wool, or down—don't shed your winter coat anytime soon. That was the Groundhog Day "forecast" given yesterday by Punxsutawney Phil, who predicted six more weeks of winter.

The famous rodent, weather forecaster, and media darling emerged from hibernation in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, yesterday with a little help from Official Groundhog Handler Bill Deeley. Phil saw his shadow—a sure sign, lore holds, that Mother Nature would continue her big chill.

The legend is said to have roots in the old Scottish couplet: "If Candlemas Day is bright and clear, there'll be two winters in the year."

But researchers say Phil's forecasts are hogwash. Records of the groundhogs' predictions have been kept since 1887. At a meeting of the American Meteorological Society in Atlanta earlier this week, one scientist said the rodents are right only 39 percent of the time.

—Sean Markey

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