Groundhog Day predictions from Punxsutawney to Columbus
Published 11:33 am Friday, February 3, 2023
Ever since the first Groundhog Day took place in Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Penn., towns and municipalities all over the country have taken up their own celebrations of the weather forecasting holiday, including here locally in Columbus and Chimney Rock.
According to folklore, there will be six more weeks of winter if the groundhog sees his shadow. If he doesn’t, spring comes early. The event, which grew out of the celebration of Candlemas in Northern Europe, was expanded by German folklore to include the furry rodent. German settlers then brought the legend to Northern Pennsylvania, which eventually evolved into the Groundhog Day we know today.
In the early morning hours, residents of Gobbler’s Knob coaxed Punxsutawney Phil from the tree stump he calls home to learn this year’s prediction. And according to his well-dressed entourage, Phil saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration compared Punxsutawney Phil’s forecast to the national weather for the last ten years and found Phil was correct approximately 40% of the time.
Up the road in Chimney Rock, their resident weather-forecasting groundhog, Pumpkin, did not see his shadow, predicting an early spring. Pumpkin also added a Super Bowl prediction, picking the Kansas City Chiefs to win next weekend.
Closer to home, Groundhog Day in the Town of Columbus was celebrated with a prediction by the town’s wood spirit mascot, aptly named Cole Lumbus. Cole was adorned in a brand new top hat and joined by members of the Discover Columbus Committee, Mayor Pat McCool, Robert Williamson, Jimmi Buell, and Rosalie Rogers to help prognosticate the weather.
Neither Cole nor his advisors saw a shadow, so an early spring is expected. To learn more about Cole and Discover Columbus, visit DiscoverColumbusNC.com or Cole’s Facebook page, facebook.com/colelumbusnc.