Punxsutawney Phil predicts six more weeks of winter

Image 1 of 7

It's February 2, 2017... that means it's Groundhog Day! What exactly does that mean? If a groundhog sees his shadow, six more weeks of winter is predicted. If not, then we will have an early spring.

The predictions are slightly mixed this year. Shortly after sunrise, the famous Punxsutawney Phil, of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, came out of his burrow on Gobbler's Knob in front of thousands of people and saw his shadow. 

In reality, Phil's prediction is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler's Knob, a tiny hill just outside Punxsutawney. That's about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Records dating to 1887 show Phil has now predicted more winter 103 times while forecasting an early spring just 18 times - including last year. There are no records for the remaining years.

Meanwhile, here in Georgia, our very own furry forecaster "General Lee," also known as Beau, predicted an early spring. He did not see his shadow at the Yellow River Game Ranch in Gwinnett County. 

A few fun facts about General Lee:

  • Beau has received honorary doctorates from UGA "DWP, Doctor of Weather Prognostication" and GSU "Doctor of Southern Groundology"
  • He's been recognized for his public service to Americans by four Ga. governors 
  • In 2004, he was featured on Animal Planet on Feb. 2nd
  • The first General Lee was "in service" for 10 years, but retired and lives in seclusion at The Game Ranch; Beauregard is his 17-year-old bachelor nephew who inherited his wealth & "brilliant prognosticating skills"
  • Beau lives on a 24-acre people-friendly animal preserve, just 2.5 miles past Stone Mountain