For the second year in a row, Potomac Phil, the taxidermied D.C. relative of Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil, will make an appearance on Groundhog Day to predict spring's arrival. Fittingly, Potomac Phil also has a penchant for political predictions.
This year's event will begin at 7:30 a.m. Feb. 2 at the fountain in Dupont Circle. Phil will make his appearance at 8 a.m.
According to the event website:
"Potomac Phil, the National Groundhog, will make an appearance and offer weather and political predictions. Phil will let us know whether to expect six more weeks of winter or an early spring. Live accordion music, polka dancers, local celebrities, VIPs and school children will participate."
Last year was the first ever Groundhog Day appearance in DC by Phil, who saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter.
Last year's winter was already a mild one, with December 2011, January and February averaging about five degrees higher than the normal Washington, DC average temperature for those months, according to National Weather Service data. So when March came in at 10 degrees above average, it was not entirely unexpected. This may call into question whether Potomac Phil has the same weather-predicting chops as his Pennsylvania cousin.
- Aaron DeNu Seeks Groundhog To Start New Dupont Circle Tradition (on the Huffington Post DC)