Weather
7:10 am
Thu February 3, 2011

Despite Snow, Spring Will Be Early, Says Groundhog

After days of shoveling and scraping Connecticut residents may be happy to hear there’s been a prediction for an early spring. It came from Connecticut’s official state groundhog.

The Lutz Children’s Museum in Manchester takes in wild animals that have been injured. Including a female groundhog who bears the weighty title, "Connecticut Chuckles the Seventh". Early this morning she went outside, sniffed the air and looked around, but did not see her shadow, according to Bob Eckerd, the executive director of the museum.

“Our groundhogs have a 100 percent accuracy rating. They’ve never been wrong. So I think we can count on an early spring.”

Groundhog Day was first celebrated by German immigrants in Pennsylvania in the 1800s. Back in Europe, the tradition involved removing a hibernating hedgehog from its burrow. If it was sunny the animal would go back inside for another six weeks of winter. But if it was cloudy, as it was today, the hedgehog would come out of hibernation signaling an early spring. A ground hog is the same thing as a wood chuck, a kind of rodent.