GROUNDHOG DAY

Punxsutawney Phil predicts 6 more weeks of winter; Agua Fria Freddie disagrees

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(Source: Philadelphia Cable Network) (Source: Philadelphia Cable Network)
(Source: Philadelphia Cable Network) (Source: Philadelphia Cable Network)

Maybe not here...

GOBBLER'S KNOB, PA (3TV/CBS 5) -- As Groundhog Day tradition dictates, members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club tapped three times on the door o fPunxsutawney Phil's home and posed the question they ask each year -- will we see an early spring or six more weeks of winter?

Phil seemed a bit crabby Thursday morning as his handlers pulled him from his cozy stump, but nobody lost any fingers. 

Once out, Phil got straight to the point and decreed that he saw his shadow, which means six more weeks of winter. Of course, because Phil speaks "Goundhogese," members of the "Inner Circle," appropriately dressed in tuxes and top hats for this most auspicious occasion,  translated Phil's prediction for the thousands of people who had gathered to see him, not to mention those of us watching online.

SLIDESHOW: Groundhog Day par-tay at Gobbler's Knob

"It's mighty cold weather, you've been braving. Is it more winter or is it spring that you're craving? Since you've been up all night and starting to tottle, I, Punxsutawney Phil, shall not dawdle," Phil's proclamation read. "My faithful followers, I could clearly see a beautiful, perfect shadow of me. Six more weeks of winter, it shall be!"

Groundhog Day was first celebrated at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, PA on Feb. 2, 1887, making Thursday the 130th event.

Groundhogs like Phil generally live for about 10 years in captivity, but Phil's epic longevity is "thanks to the magical punch he imbibes every summer," according to History.com.

Had Phil not seen his shadow this morning, the prediction would have been for an early spring.

Records dating to 1887 show Phil has now predicted more winter 103 times while forecasting an early spring just 18 times, including last year. 

My faithful followers, I could clearly see a beautiful, perfect shadow of me. Six more weeks of winter, it shall be!

Of course, with Valley temperatures in the 70s all week and flirting with 80 by the middle of next week -- talk about a gorgeous forecast -- are we really worried about six more weeks of winter?

Agua Fria Freddie, a rattlesnake that serves as Arizona's version of Punxsutawney Phil, had a somewhat different prediction, at least for the Grand Canyon State.

"We can’t count on Punxsutawney Phil here in the desert; the weather is so different here," CBS 5 Meteorologist Paul Horton said. According to him, Freddie "is 98.8 percent accurate when it comes to predicting the weather in Arizona."

Although we're already enjoying almost spring-like temperatures, the spring equinox, which marks the changing of the seasons, is Monday, March 20 at 3:28 a.m. Arizona time (MST). 

The Associated Press contributed to this story. Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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