Punxsutawney Phil, the most famous rodent in America outside of Disney World, has seen his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter.
“Forecasts abound on the Internet, but, I, Punxsutawney Phil am still your best bet,” decried a proclamation read by the Fair Weather of the Inner Circle. “Yes, a shadow I see, you can start to Twitter, hash tag: Six more weeks of winter!”
The forecast came this morning as Winter Storm Linus put nearly 70 million Americans under a winter weather advisory or warning, according to a report from the Weather Channel. So far, more than 2,700 flights have been canceled and record breaking amounts of snowfall have hit the midwest and northeast.
The Chicagoland area saw nearly 20 inches of snow, and Milwaukee and South Bend (IN) were both blanketed with more than 10 inches.
Temperatures at the Groundhog Day festivities were steadily dropping to below freezing, and the cold and rainy weather saw the crowd, which has topped 15,000 in recent years, drop as well.
Even though the German legend about the groundhog’s weather predicting abilities says the forecast depends on Phil’s actions, it is actually determined ahead of time by the Inner Circle and then delivered to the crowd on Gobbler’s Knob.
According to the Associated Press, records going back to 1887 show that the groundhog has seen his shadow and predicted more winter weather 102 times, compared to only predicting an early spring 17 years.
Watch video of Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction.