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Shadow or No Shadow? The Groundhog Has Spoken

Punxsutawney Phil didn't see his shadow, meaning a supposedly early spring
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2019 7:00 AM CST
In this Feb. 2, 2017, file photo, Groundhog Club handler John Griffiths holds Punxsutawney Phil, the weather-prognosticating groundhog, during the Groundhog Day celebration in Punxsutawney, Pa.   (James Robinson/The Patriot-News/PennLive.com via AP, File)

(Newser) – As the country continued to teeth-chatter its way this week through the polar vortex, some looked forward to Saturday, when a certain weather-watching rodent was set to make his prediction for 2019. And the verdict from Punxsutawney Phil is in: The groundhog didn't see his shadow, which supposedly means we're in for an early spring. NBC News reports that cheers went up after Phil's prognostication in Punxsutawney, Pa., with one of his handlers joking with the crowd to put money into bathing suits.

The groundhog's guess, however, is somewhat at odds with that of AccuWeather expert Paul Pastelok, who says that even though the cold may let up during the first half of February, "the pattern will lock again for the second half of February with more cold and stormy weather for the eastern half of the nation." He adds that the effects of El Nino may keep warmer times at bay until early March. (It does appear relief from the cold is on its way—though that could cause problems on its own.)

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