After the extreme cold around Christmas, the groundhog Phil has predicted six more weeks of winter in the USA. At the annual ceremony in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the rodent saw continued cold weather in America as the sun rose Thursday morning.
"I see a shadow on my stage - and therefore, no matter how you look at it, there's still six weeks of winter weather," a poem was read out in the name of the marmot. The audience clapped and hooted at the rodent, who looked on a man's arms somewhat impassively.
Custom in the town of Punxsutawney states that if the animal sees its shadow because of a sunny sky on February 2 - Groundhog Day - then winter will last another six weeks. According to superstition, however, overcast weather indicates an early spring.
A marmot is said to have made the prediction for the first time in 1887. The spectacle became famous through the film "Groundhog Day" from 1993 with Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.
Phil doesn't get it right that often, though. US climate researchers have calculated that his hit rate has been around 40 percent in recent years. In the meantime, other marmots are also making predictions in other places.