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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Weathercast

It's Groundhog Official: Six More Weeks of Winter

The Groundhog saw his shadow today predicting six more weeks of winter.

Punxsutawney Phil “saw” his shadow earlier today in Pennsylvania, thus predicting six more weeks of winter.


The prediction happened 65 miles outside of Pittsburg in the town for which the groundhog is named after. The Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and 15,000 spectators watched the groundhog emerge from his lair.

However, students at USC seemed to have no concern for this. Jessica Navarro, a junior studying Communication, said “this is LA where winter does not exist.” Others dismissed the groundhog. Erika Zerda, a senior studying Neuroscience said, “tell that rat to go back to sleep until the sun is not out.”

On Twitter, Lord Voldemort, the evil villain from Harry Potter, seems to agree with Erika saying, “Trusting a groundhog to predict the weather sounds like something only Luna Lovegood would believe.” Luna Lovegood is a distant-minded character in the films.

Many others made a reference to the 1993 “Groundhog Day” film in which Bill Murray plays a weatherman who has to relive Groundhog Day over and over again. After the 1993 release, Groundhog Day became a national spectacle.

The tradition stems from German superstition where if a hibernating animal casts no shadow on Feb. 2, the Christian holiday of Candlemas, spring will come early. If there is a shadow, then winter goes on for six weeks. 

In other states like New York, Georgia, and Ohio, the groundhog did not see its shadow.

Whether or not we have six more weeks of winter, Southern Californians have little to worry about.   

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