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It's Groundhog Day. See what Punxsutawney Phil and the Storm Station Meteorologists have to say

4 weeks 9 hours 17 minutes ago Friday, February 02 2024 Feb 2, 2024 February 02, 2024 7:42 AM February 02, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. — Rodents and other mammals emerged from their enclosures Friday to take a crack at forecasting the weather in the annual Groundhog Day ritual. The consensus so far: an early spring.

WBRZ Meteorologist Emma Kate Cowan generally agreed Friday morning. The Baton Rouge area won't see a freeze anytime soon, though after a nice day Friday, we'll see rain and slightly lower temperatures return for the weekend. (Many Mardi Gras parades are changing their start times.)

By Tuesday, temperatures will rebound and for most of next week, temperatures will be in the 70s during sunny and dry afternoons.

Pennsylvania's primary prognosticator, Punxsutawney Phil, didn't see his shadow — indicating better weather soon. Under the tongue-in-cheek tradition, if sunshine made him see his shadow he would go back into his den for six weeks.

A federal agency last year studied the accuracy of Phil's forecasts. He's been right about 40 percent of the time. Check out our weather page for a more-accurate prediction.

In Pennsylvania, the Inner Circle of Phil's handlers decide in advance what the groundhog will declare, and write an extended verse about it. Punxsutawney has marked Groundhog Day since the 1800s.

Thousands of people turn out in Punxsutawney, many prompted by the 1993 movie "Groundhog Day." That year, the temperature was -6 Fahrenheit. 

In New Orleans, a young Louisiana black bear in the swamp exhibit at the Audubon Zoo also predicted an early spring for Mardi Gras. The bear, named Sassafras, had the choice of pawing at two boxes, labeled "Early Spring" and "Long Winter."  She stuck her head into the "Early Spring" box.

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