Phil’s message to the masses: Polar No-More-Tex... early spring!

Photo by Alan Freed |Pictured here are members of Phil’s inner circle reacting to the news.Photo by Alan Freed | Phil’s Co-Handler A.J. Dereume holds Phil as he poses for photos, after all, was said and done.
Zak Lantz
Punxsutawney Spirit Editor

Preparations for Groundhog Day 2019 began back on Feb. 3, 2018 — right after Punxsutawney Phil issued his forecast of six more weeks of winter for that year. Since then, Phil and his Inner Circle have done the rounds — perhaps their busiest year promoting all things Punxsutawney — and this week, the focus once again turned to the Seer of Seers, the Prognosticator of Prognosticators, as he prepared to make his 2019 prediction — his 133rd overall. This year’s verdict? — Early spring! Mother Nature hadn’t been all that kind to the region as Groundhog Day approached. While the recent polar vortex hit the Midwest portion of the country even harder than it did The Weather Capital of the World, the truth of the matter is that even the most passionate fan of winter weather would have been tempted this week — with one look out the window at the weather conditions — to think, “Maybe we don’t need those extra couple weeks of winter.” However, some will hold to their winter wonders, as there’s always a mixed bag of expectations for Phil on his big day.
It was with these things in mind that Phil’s fans and followers flocked to Gobbler’s Knob first thing Saturday morning — after a full day of activities and the Groundhog Banquet on Friday — to hear what the Seer of Seers had to say.

To read the full article, see Monday's publication of the Ridgway Record. (Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.)