Amid much fanfare and crowd delight, Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog prognosticator emerged from his burrow early Thursday morning, at Punxsutawney, Penn.
“Should he see his shadow, there will be two winters. Should he not see his shadow, spring is just around the corner,” said Jeff Lundy, the Fair Weather man in the Inner Circle of the Groundhog Club.
The cheers soon turned to boos as the rodent made a surprise call and predicted six more weeks of winter.
“Phil has never been incorrect,” said Mike Johnston, vice president of the Groundhog Club.
Lundy also claimed Phil to be the “only true weather-forecasting groundhog.”
Organizers said the 18,000-strong crowd may well be the largest weekday crowd they have had, although this was not the official count.
Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction was the 126th time the groundhog tradition has taken place at Gobbler’s Knob.
The tradition was the inspiration for the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day,” in which weatherman (Bill Murray) finds himself living the same day over and over again.