MARION, Ohio – Ohio’s own groundhog did not see his shadow today.
The station that handles Buckeye Chuck, WMRN, said that prognosticating groundhog did not see his shadow February 2, 2019 which according to lore, means an early Spring is in store for Ohio.
Buckeye Chuck has been the official groundhog to be Ohio’s prognosticator since a proclamation designated him so in 1979.
Punxsutawney Phil, States Island Chuck and Wharton Willie did not see shadows. However, Potomac Phil and General Beauregard Lee have differing opinions to their other prognosticating brethren as they did see their shadows.
According to the History Channel, “On this day in 1887, Groundhog Day, featuring a rodent meteorologist, is celebrated for the first time at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. According to tradition, if a groundhog comes out of its hole on this day and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather; no shadow means an early spring.”
Groundhog Day actually has it’s roots in Christianity. In the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, the clergy would bless and distribute candles which were needed for winter. The candles represented how long and how cold the coming winter would be. Germans expanded upon this idea by incorporating the hedgehog as a way to predict the weather. As immigration to America began, German immigrants in Pennsylvania discovered groundhogs. They continued the tradition with woodchucks.
According to the History Channel website, “In 1887, a newspaper editor belonging to a group of groundhog hunters from Punxsutawney called the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club declared that Phil, the Punxsutawney groundhog, was America’s only true weather-forecasting groundhog. The line of groundhogs that have since been known as Phil might be America’s most famous groundhogs, but other towns across North America now have their own weather-predicting rodents, from Birmingham Bill to Staten Island Chuck to Shubenacadie Sam in Canada.”