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Georgia rodent sees early spring; not Phil

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POSTED: February 2, 2010 8:54 a.m.
LILBURN - If Georgia's groundhog can be believed, the chilly winter is about to give way to an early spring.

Gen. Beauregard Lee gave his annual Groundhog Day prognostication Tuesday morning from his home at the Yellow River Game Ranch. The prediction was delayed when Gen. Lee got away from his handlers and hid, then climbed a fence behind his mock-mansion home.

Legend has it that if a groundhog sees his shadow on Feb. 2, six more weeks of winter can be expected. Otherwise, spring is at hand. Rainy, cloudy weather kept shadows away.

His prediction contradicts the call made by Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil, who did see his shadow.

Official predictions call for more rain in Georgia later in the week. Gen. Lee did not address that issue.

Poor Northerners

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. - The groundhog has spoken. And it's bad news.

Punxsutawney (puhnk-suh-TAW'-nee) Phil has emerged to see his shadow before chilly revelers in Pennsylvania, meaning winter will last another six weeks.

German tradition holds that if a hibernating animal sees its shadow on Feb. 2 - the Christian holiday of Candlemas - winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow is seen, legend says spring will come early.

The Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club annually announces Phil's forecast at dawn on Gobbler's Knob, about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

Phil's announcement came before hundreds of onlookers who huddled as temperatures hovered in the teens.

The Groundhog Club says since 1887 Phil has predicted more winter weather by seeing his shadow nearly 100 times, but there are no records for nine years.


 

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