UPDATE: Following a week of frigid temperatures that gripped the Midwest, all eyes were on Pennsylvania's famed groundhog on Saturday in hopes of signs of relief.

And Punxsutawney Phil delivered good news on Groundhog Day morning, failing to see his shadow and thus predicting an early spring is on its way, according to local lore.

The festivities have their origin in a German legend that says if a furry rodent casts a shadow on Feb. 2, winter continues. If not, spring comes early.

Phil's annual prediction draws thousands of revelers to the town of Punxsutawney, about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, every year. Onlookers were bundled up Saturday to chant Phil's name so he would emerge from his hole in a tree stump.

Cheers erupted when the early spring prediction was announced, with one of Phil's handlers advising the crowd to invest in swimsuits.

Nearly the same series of events unfolded about 300 miles to the east, where Staten Island Chuck's handlers also revealed the same prediction.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio stopped attending Staten Island's Groundhog Day ceremony in 2015, a year after he accidentally dropped the furry critter that died a week later.

In the Scenic City, Chattanooga Chuck saw his shadow, meaning he is predicting six more weeks of winter. 

 


PREVIOUS STORY: At about 7:25am, at sunrise, a group of men in Gobbler's Knob, who are formally dressed in tuxedoes, top hats and of course, winter coats, will begin the process.

A proclamation will be read aloud that determines if Phil has seen his shadow (meaning six more weeks of winter) or hasn't, which purportedly means an early spring.

Chattanooga Chuck, a distant cousin of our friend Phil, will make a similar, if less opulent, appearance Saturday morning at 10:30am at the Tennessee Aquarium's River Journey lobby.

And of course, there's always the Bill Murray classic move 'Groundhog Day' if you need a refresher course.