Americans anxiously awaited the appearance of groundhog Punxsutawney Phil early Sunday to see just how much longer winter is expected to last, but they got another prediction instead.
As the ceremony to determine whether Phil would or would not see his shadow got underway in Punxsutawney, Pa., officials determined that he could not, signaling an early end to winter.
But groundhog expert Rune Johnson offered another take on Phil’s prediction, noting that he detected a subtle change in the animal’s demeanor.
“I believe Phil has an additional message for us this year,” Johnson told reporters. “And frankly, I think it’s something he’s been trying to tell us for years now, but no one’s noticed.”
Johnson said he believes what the groundhog has really been trying to tell Americans is much more profound.
“Phil’s trying to tell us that it’s not just about the next six weeks. He says it’s about the whole year, which he predicts will last at least another 10 months, maybe longer,” Johnson said.
It’s unclear how Johnson came to that conclusion, but he says he’s certain the animal’s predictive traits include determining just how much longer 2020 is expected to last.
“It was subtle,” Johnson said of Phil’s prediction. “You gotta be an expert, like me, to notice these things.”