Famous rodent to weigh in on winter prediction

Groundhog Club handler John Griffiths holds Punxsutawney Phil during the 126th celebration of Groundhog Day.

A big party will take place Saturday as the famous Punxsutawney Phil declares if spring will come early, or if there will be six more weeks of winter.

For the 127th year Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil will be celebrated as he emerges from his burrow to make his forecast at 7am. Events at Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney kicked off Thursday, and the town will continue the party throughout the weekend.

You can check out a live stream of the celebrations by clicking here.

The famous groundhog is also turning to social media. You can friend Phil on his facebook page or follow him on twitter.

According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early. If it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, indicating the winter weather will continue for six more weeks.

TV 7&4 Storm Team Meteorologist Joe Charlevoix tells us that the National Climatic Data Center claims that Phil has an accuracy rating of around 61% in his predictions. However another source claims that since 1887, the accuracy rate has been lower, at only 39%.

As for the 7&4 Storm Team's longer range forecast for spring it appears that while February may end up cooler than average, the March/April/May timeframe may end up coming in with above normal temperatures along with above normal chances for rain/snow across Northern Michigan.

Post your prediction by voting in our poll: Do you think there will be six more weeks of winter?