Punxsutawney Phil

Shenandoah National Park / flickr

The popular Bill Murray film and Pittsburgh’s proximity to Punxsutawney always draw headlines for  Phil and his Gobbler’s Knob troupe each Groundhog Day. But do you know the origins of the tradition? Who was the first to celebrate and why did they designate a woodland rodent to act as their part-time meteorologist? We’ll ask Patrick Donmoyer (Duhn-moi-err) the story behind the holiday. He’s the Site Manager at the Pennsylvania German Cultural Heritage Center at Kutztown University and says the event actually has a lot to do with the Commonwealth’s German history.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The handlers of Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, say the furry rodent has failed to see his shadow, meaning he has "predicted" an early spring.

Members of the top hat-wearing Inner Circle announced the "forecast" at sunrise, just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

The handlers of Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, said Monday the furry rodent has forecast six more weeks of winter.

Members of the top hat-wearing Inner Circle announced the "prediction" Monday morning.

A German legend has it that if a furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last another six weeks. If not, spring comes early.

The forecast was also announced on Twitter, as was referenced in the official proclamation read by Bill Deeley, president of the Inner Circle.

CINCINNATI — Famed groundhog Punxsutawney Phil might want to go back into hibernation.

Authorities in still-frigid Ohio have issued an "indictment" of the furry rodent, who predicted an early spring when he didn't see his shadow after emerging from his western Pennsylvania lair on Feb. 2.

Mike Gmoser, the prosecutor in southwestern Ohio's Butler County, says Punxsutawney Phil "did purposely, and with prior calculation and design, cause the people to believe that spring would come early."

The penalty? Gmoser says — tongue firmly in cheek — is death.