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. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Potomac Phil’s adoring fans crowded into Dupont Circle for the event’s eighth annual installment on Saturday. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
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. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
“Six more months of political gridlock,” tweeted non-profit Dupont Festival, which organizes the event annually. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)

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. 

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Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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