US Awaits Punxsutawney Phil Declaration

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) -- Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog will soon be back in the spotlight — or will it be the shadows?

Punxsutawney (puhnk-suh-TAW'-nee) Phil's handlers are set to announce at sunrise Friday what kind of weather they say the rodent is predicting for the rest of winter.

Legend has it if a furry rodent casts a shadow on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, expect six more weeks of winter-like weather. If not, expect spring-like temperatures.

In reality, Phil's prediction is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler's Knob, a tiny hill just outside of Punxsutawney. That's about 65 miles (about 100 kilometers) northeast of Pittsburgh.

Records dating to 1887 show Phil predicting more winter 102 times while forecasting an early spring just 18 times. No records exist for the remaining years.

(KA)