Groundhog Day Reaction: ‘It Would be Nice to See the Ground Again’
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – You can thank Punxsutawney Phil for the possibility of several more weeks of the cold stuff.
Pennsylvania’s famous forecaster emerged from his burrow in Gobbler’s Knob this morning and saw his shadow, predicting another six weeks of winter.
That’s not OK with Twin Falls resident David Hughes, who was shopping at stores in downtown on Thursday afternoon.
“Oh boy,” he said when he found out Phil’s prediction. “Let’s hope he’s wrong.”
“It would be nice to see the ground again, to see the trails,” said Yvonne Phillips, who moved to Twin Falls from Alaska, a place that is used to winter’s snow and cold temperatures.
Phillips also was downtown Thursday afternoon walking her dog, Cody. At least business owners have done a good job of keeping their sidewalks cleared of ice, she said – at least for the most part.
“It’s been slick out there,” she said.
We’ll have to wait and see if groundhog Phil’s prediction proves true, but he hasn’t always been right over the past 131 years, let alone the past three decades.
“Phil has had a spotty record over the past 30 years, predicting the weather correctly only about half the time,” according to a national report by USA Today. “Phil sees his shadow much more often than he doesn't. Since the tradition began, he's seen his shadow more than 100 times and hasn't seen it 18 times.”
The tradition of using a groundhog to predict winter’s last fling started in 1886 in Punxsutawney, Pa. If the weather is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on Feb. 2 then spring will come early that year, according to the folklore. If it is sunny, however, the groundhog will see its shadow and head back inside because winter is expected to continue for another six weeks.
The tradition is celebrated every year on Feb. 2 – a date midway between winter’s solstice and the spring equinox – and draws hundreds of visitors to the small town in the western part of the Keystone State. Among the festivities today included the reading of a poem, singing and dancing, and fireworks. Phil’s prediction is meant for the entire U.S.
Whether you like winter or are ready for spring, today is a good time to watch the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day,” starring Bill Murray, who plays a cranky meteorologist that for a time relives the same day several times while covering the traditional Punxsutawney event.
Funny movie, but what about Phil’s prediction?
“I always thought of Groundhog Day as a big joke,” Phillips said.