However, early has never be defined, and winter in the Groundhog Day epicenter of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania has been known to last well into spring, with snow fall occurring in mid April during 8 of the last 15 years.
The most famous groundhog is of course Phil the resident groundhog of Punxsutawney, where crowds have gathered to celebrate the holiday since at least 1886.
Know by ancient decree as the "seer of seers and prognosticator of prognosticators", Phil’s big day is celebrated with a festive atmosphere of music and food and even pre-dawn fireworks.
During the ceremony, which begins well before the winter sunrise, Phil emerges from his temporary home on Gobbler's Knob, located in a rural area about 2 mi (3.2 km) east of town.
With his handlers and supporters wearing tuxedos and top hats, Phil is removed from his home to face the crowd and chilly February air. According to the tradition, if Phil sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of winter. If Phil does not see his shadow, spring will arrive early.
Once the celebration is over and the crowds have departed Phil returns to the town library where he lives with his groundhog "wife" Phyllis.
Today’ s Prediction: Six More Weeks of Winter!
Phil also "proclaimed that his beloved Pittsburgh Steelers were World Champions one more time," his handlers said, and to be sure the woodchuck, known popularly as a groundhog, got that one right.
Of past 112 predictions on record, Punxsutawney Phil has predicted an early spring 14times. As to his accuracy, according to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, he is 100% accurate.
Phil's nearest competitor Long Island Chuck, did what many New Yorker's would like to do, He chomped down on NYC Mayor Micheal Bloomburg's hand drawing a small amount of blood. Long Island Chuck apperantly didn't like being woken on a cold winter morning.