PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. -- Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog foresees no early end to winter — but Louisiana's representative wasn't in agreement.
Pierre C. Shadeaux, the Cajun groundhog, did not see his shadow this morning, meaning we will have a longer spring and a slow return of the summer heat.
The handlers of Punxsutawney Phil said he did see his shadow at dawn on Friday, indicating he has called for six more week of winter.
Because of Louisiana's climate, Pierre either predicts a longer spring or an earlier summer. Pierre makes his prediction each year at an event in New Iberia.
The top hat-wearing members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club's Inner Circle reveal Phil's forecast every Feb. 2. Pierre makes his prediction It is based on a German legend surrounding Candlemas. The legend says if a furry rodent casts a shadow that day, winter continues. If not, spring comes early.
For Louisiana, any bad omen this year offers reason for displeasure. The state has seen record cold temperatures this year, as well as multiple instances of snow and hard freezes.
The cold has sent energy bills skyrocketing for many, and forced schools and critical infrastructure to close for multiple days. The most recent cold snap shut down much of the state's interstate system amid treacherous, icy conditions.
Phil's prediction is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler's Knob, a tiny hill just outside Punxsutawney about 65 miles (about 100 kilometers) northeast of Pittsburgh.
Thousands of people gathered overnight to await the forecast, bundled up against the cold and entertained by folk music and a fireworks display, with temperatures around 11 degrees.
The groundhog's prediction is typically contained in a short poem.
"Up early this morning. Far from home. Are you searching for the Phil-osopher's stone? Well, even my best friends, they don't know. Is it an early spring or just more snow," the proclamation read. "My faithful followers, your hands (and my paws) are getting cold so here is my forecast. Not lead, but solid gold: I see my royal Shadow! Six more weeks of Winter to go!"
Records dating to 1887 show Phil has now predicted more winter 103 times while forecasting an early spring just 18 times — including last year. There are no records for the remaining years.