Early spring or 6 more weeks of winter? Georgia groundhogs make 2023 predictions

JACKSON, Ga. — Georgia residents looked to the state’s well-known groundhogs Thursday to see if there will be a prolonged winter or an early spring.

Dauset Trails Nature Center told Channel 2 Action News Beauregard ‘Beau’ Lee, the groundhog is the one that knows.

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Channel 2 Action News live streamed Beau’s prediction in the WSB-TV news app Thursday morning. If you are hoping for an early spring, you’re in luck. Beau didn’t see his shadow!

Another Georgia groundhog is Yonah, the North Georgia groundhog that resides in the North Georgia Wildlife Park in Cleveland, Georgia. Yonah, who was a little shy to come out of his home today, also did not see his shadow.

Meanwhile, up north, the groundhogs disagree on what they will see. Staten Island Chuck also didn’t see his shadow, but Punxsutawney Phil did and predicted six more weeks of winter.


In addition to the celebrations around the state, the well-known movie, Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell, celebrates its 30th anniversary Thursday.

Here are some other things to know about Groundhog Day:

First celebration: The first Groundhog Day was celebrated at Gobbler’s Knob on Feb. 2, 1887. According to History.com, the idea came from Clymer Freas, a newspaper editor in Punxsutawney, who belonged to a group of groundhog hunters. His newspaper, The Punxsutawney Spirit, is credited with printing the news of the first observance in 1886, according to the website of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

Origins: The day was initially known as Candlemas Day, which was the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. It was celebrated in Europe, with Germans adopting a hedgehog to determine whether the rest of the winter would be bitter or mild. German settlers who came to Pennsylvania in the 18th century continued the tradition, substituting a groundhog.

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Other predictors: What other rodents predict the weather on Feb. 2? Birmingham Bill, who prognosticates from the Birmingham Zoo in Alabama, and Staten Island Chuck in the New York metropolitan area. Not to be outdone, Canada has its own rodent, Shubenacadie Sam, who emerges from his burrow in Nova Scotia.


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