You wouldn't know it by our weather, but the nation's unofficial weathercaster saw its shadow on this Groundhog Day meaning winter continues. Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his hole and saw his shadow earlier this morning, and that means six more weeks of winter. That might be true, but the high today for the River Bend will again hit 60-degrees.
Phil's handlers say he's never been wrong in a prediction. Records from Punxsutawney's first Groundhog Day observances refer to the length of shadows when the groundhog appeared. The mid-winter observance dates back to 1887.
It stems from beliefs associated with Candlemas Day during early Christianity in Europe. Candles would be distributed to mark the coming of longer days in the spring. Pennsylvania's early German settlers had a rhyme that says, "for as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl until the May." They decided if the sun appeared on February 2nd and a groundhog saw its shadow, the creature would scurry back underground and winter would last for six more weeks.