Residents watched as 7 inches of snow fell in Somerset — eight weeks after the infamous groundhog said there would only be six more weeks of winter.
Bill Deeley, president of the Groundhog Club and Phil's handler, said the Groundhog Day forecast is sometimes wrong.
"It does happen," he said. "That's Mother Nature."
Deeley has served as Phil's handler for 27 years. The first time he was off was the blizzard of 1996.
"The next day the sun was out and it was 47 degrees," he said. "It stayed 40-something and the next thing I knew it was 50. Six weeks to the date we got a blizzard that paralyzed the country."
Last year Phil's prediction was off as well.
"A year ago I predicted six more weeks of winter," Deeley said. "Last year at this time, we were cutting our grass, starting to plant, playing golf — we just washed our car and waxed it."
Deeley, who is a hunter himself, has heard about threats to Phil's life and even a fictitious lawsuit filed against the groundhog by an Ohio prosecutor. Deeley said Phil is doing well as calls for his demise continue. He said he knows that groundhogs are in season year-round in Pennsylvania.
"Phil's handling the threats with no problem," he said. "We go in to see him and he looks at us with disgust; you know, that look your spouse gives you when you really screwed up. It's in his eyes."
Deeley said a New York ski resort has offered Phil asylum. Despite the negativity, Deeley said he is happy that Phil and Punxsutawney are getting so much attention.
"Good or bad, people are talking about you," he said. "It's great."
Since Phil's report was a bit off, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation crews started treating the roads at 8 p.m. Sunday as snow began to fall in the southern end of Somerset County, Joe Kelemen, county maintenance manager, said.
"As the snow progressed north we called additional crews at that point," he said.
At lunchtime Monday 47 trucks were out working to clear the roads.
"Slow down and give yourself extra time," he said.
A.J. Jarosz, a National Weather Service observer, said 5.6 inches of snow fell in Glencoe overnight and an additional 2 1/4 inches fell Monday.
"This is the snowiest March we've had in the last 12 years by far," he said.
So far 27.7 inches of snow has fallen in March, hitting the ground on 16 out of 25 days, he said. In 2012 less than an inch of snow fell during the month, he said, because of higher temperatures.
"If it would have been cold enough, it would have been the same thing we have now," he said.
Jarosz has recorded 81.7 inches of snow this winter.
Steve Shaulis, a National Weather Service observer, recorded 5.8 inches of snow as of 8 a.m. Monday. He estimated that an additional 1 1/2 inches fell during the day.
"Hopefully it's going to quit snowing soon," he said. "But this is Somerset County. What can we say?"