Punxsutawney, PA -- The handlers for groundhog Punxsutawney Phil say he's forecasting six more weeks of what already has felt like a brutally long and cold winter.
Pennsylvania's famed groundhog emerged from his lair in front of thousands of fans around daybreak Sunday.
Legend has it that if the furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last another month-and-a-half. If he doesn't see it, spring will come early.
In reality, Phil's prediction is decided ahead of time by a group called the Inner Circle, whose members don top hats and tuxedos for the ceremony on Groundhog Day each year.
Phil is the most famous of a small group of groundhogs said to forecast the weather, including Staten Island Chuck in New York and General Beauregard Lee in Atlanta.
In North Carolina:
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Sir Walter Wally will be making his own winter weather forecast outside the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences.
Wally is a groundhog that museum officials say has been correct 50 percent of the time in predicting winter weather since 1998. If he sees his shadow on Sunday, that's supposed to mean six more weeks of winter.
Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane will join former museum educator John Connors to assist with the forecast.
The 17th annual Groundhog Day celebration will take place from noon to 5 p.m. with the shadow ceremony beginning at 1 p.m. on Bicentennial Plaza in front of the museum. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the museum's auditorium.