Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog set to ‘predict’ whether spring will come early

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Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil climbs on the top hat of his handler after Phil did not see his shadow and predicting an early spring during the 127th Groundhog Day Celebration at Gobbler's Knob on February 2, 2013 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The Punxsutawney 'Inner Circle' claimed that there were about 35,000 people gathered at the event to watch Phil's annual forecast. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) — The handlers of Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog are set to predict whether we’ll have early spring-like weather or have to suffer through the end of winter.

Members of Punxsutawney Phil’s top hat-wearing inner circle plan to reveal their forecast at sunrise, just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

A German legend has it that if a furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last an additional six weeks. If not, spring comes early.

In reality, Phil’s “prediction” is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler’s Knob. The tiny hill is located just outside the town of Punxsutawney, about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Records going back to 1887 have Phil forecasting more winter 102 times while forecasting an early spring just 17 times. There are no records for the remaining years.

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