Local News

Sir Walter Wally, Punxsutawney Phil Predict More Winter Weather

Posted February 2, 2004 12:05 p.m. EST

— Can we expect six more weeks of winter or an early spring?

Sir Walter Wally, Raleigh's own portly weather prognosticator, saw his shadow Monday morning, which according to tradition, means six more weeks of winter.

Wally left the hallowed halls of the

Museum of Natural Sciences

to make his annual prediction in front of a local crowd gathered outside Monday.

Wally's forecast matches that of

Punxsutawney Phil

, the world's most famous weather-predicting groundhog, who also saw his shadow early Monday in Pennsylvania.

Including Monday's prediction, Phil is reported to have seen his shadow 104 times since the tradition began in Punxsutawney.

The tradition is rooted in a German superstition that if a hibernating animal casts a shadow Feb. 2 -- the Christian holiday of Candlemas --winter will last another six weeks. If no shadow is seen, legend says spring will come early.

More than a dozen states celebrate the day with their own critters, including Dixie Dan in Mississippi, Buckeye Chuck in Ohio and Gen. Beauregard Lee in Georgia.