Potomac Phil defies Punxsutawney with prediction of his own

Potomac Phil — the completely legitimate, not at all stuffed prognosticating “National Groundhog” — comes out every year on Groundhog Day for a forecast at Dupont Circle.

Potomac Phil’s adoring fans crowded into Dupont Circle for the event’s eighth annual installment on Saturday.

Unlike his more animated cousin, Potomac Phil saw his shadow on Saturday (or, rather, his handlers did, given they have real eyes) — seemingly at odds with the Pennsylvania groundhog.

“Six more months of political gridlock,” tweeted non-profit Dupont Festival, which organizes the event annually.


WASHINGTON — While hundreds gathered in rural Pennsylvania for Punxsutawney Phil’s annual weather prediction, his lesser-known, somewhat lesser-animated cousin had his own ceremony in D.C.’s Dupont Circle.

Bad news, everyone: Potomac Phil saw his shadow on Saturday morning, meaning six more weeks of winter.

Unlike Punxsutawney Phil, Potomac is a stuffed groundhog — “taxidermy is a dying art,” its Twitter page said on Saturday. But like his more animated cousin, D.C.’s own Phil has throngs of adoring fans willing to brave the cold for a hand in the festivities.

The far more lively Punxsutawney Phil, meanwhile, didn’t see his shadow up north — setting the stage for months of groundhog gridlock.

Punxsutawney Phil could not be reached for comment.

WTOP’s Melissa Howell contributed to this report. 

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

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