Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his groundhog burrow this morning and saw his shadow. According to legend, there will be six more weeks of winter.
WGN meteorologist Tim McGill couldn't care less.
"Punxsutawney Phil is a punk when it comes to weather forecasting," writes McGill on the Chicago Weather Center blog.
He cites one study that found the groundhog's forecast has been right only 39 percent of the time.
"We might as well ask a giraffe for stock picks--he could probably be just as accurate," says McGill, a 26-year broadcast meteorologist.
"Most meteorologists dread Groundhog Day," he continues. "Bill Murray's portrayal of a television weatherman in 'Groundhog Day' was spot on." That movie, of course, was filmed 20 years ago in Woodstock, Ill.
Woodstock held its own Groundhog Day ceremony this morning with polar-opposite results. There, Woodstock Willie didn't see his shadow, presaging a spring that is just around the corner.
"Our announcement was a little better than Punxsutawney," said Mayor Brian Sager.
The folks in Pennsylvania, however, say any other groundhog but theirs is a charlatan.
Real meteorologists and weathermen shun all the hoopla, whether in Pennsylvania or here, McGill says.
And there was plenty of hoopla this morning in Punxsutawney, situated about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, where thousands of people showed up on a small hill called Gobbler's knob for Phil's annual prediction.
Punxsutawney has been celebrating Ground Hogs Day since 1886, and officially this was Phil's 126th prognostication.
While the typical groundhog life span is six to eight years, Punxsutawneyites insist that their Phil is immortal.
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