Buckeye Chuck agrees with Phil; Spring is on the way

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Ohio’s own groundhog, Buckeye Chuck agreed with Punxsutawney Phil’s weather prediction.

Chuck, from Marion, did not see his shadow Saturday morning beneath a blanket of low clouds and freezing fog, which tradition suggests there will be an early spring.

This was Buckeye Chuck’s 40th year of predicting. Chuck’s prediction came after Phil’s, who also did not see his shadow and predicted an early spring. Phil and his ancestors have been at this for much longer–the first trip to Gobbler’s Know in northwest Pennsylvania, about 65 miles from Pittsburgh, occurred in 1887.

Interestingly, Phil has seen his shadow 103 times, which portends six more weeks of winter. Today was only the 19th occasion when the groundhog forecasted an early spring–which has happened only 15.6 percent of the time.

The Groundhog Day festivities have their origin in a German legend that says if a furry rodent casts a shadow on Feb. 2, the approximatge midpoint of astronomical winter, the season continues for another month or longer, and he scurries back into his den. If not, spring comes early.

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