Don't Pack Away Your Coats! Punxsutawney Phil Predicts 6 More Weeks of Winter

On Wednesday morning, Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his snowy hole on Gobbler's Knob to make his annual prediction

Punxsutawney Phil has made his annual prediction yet again — and it's bad news for anybody hoping for an end to cold weather.

On Wednesday morning, the legendary groundhog emerged from his snowy hole on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania — and just like last year, he saw his shadow. Per tradition, that means an extra six weeks of winter weather are on the way.

However, he might not be right — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration previously reported that Phil's predictions pan out just 40 percent of the time.

"Winter has been bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet winter is just another step in the cycle of life," read Phil's proclamation, translated from his native tongue of "Groundhogese," according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

"As I look out over the faces of the true believers from around the world, I bask in the warmth of your hearts," Phil's proclamation continued. "I couldn't imagine a better fate, with my shadow I have cast, than a long and lustrous six more weeks of winter."

Just days before the annual weather-predicting festivity, New Jersey's own beloved animal prognosticator sadly died.

"Milltown Mel recently crossed over the rainbow bridge," read a post on the groundhog's official Facebook page.

Groundhog Day
Punxsutawney Phil in 2022. Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty

"Considering the average lifespan of a groundhog is about 3 years, that is not such a shock, but Mel left us at a tough time of year, when most of his fellow groundhogs are hibernating... so no babies will be available to replace him until this Spring," the post continued, noting that as a result, this year's festivities there would be canceled.

The origins of Groundhog Day date back to the early days of Christianity in Europe, according to the Pennsylvania Tourism Office.

The current celebration has roots in Candlemas Day, when Christians would take their candles to the church to have them blessed. If skies were clear that day, it meant an extended winter.

Groundhog Day was first recorded in Punxsutawney in 1886, and the tradition has maintained its popularity over the years — despite some naysayers.

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"You're better off trying to decide what the rest of February and March will look like by flipping a coin," said CNN meteorologist Judson Jones.

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