The much anticipated 'Groundhog Day' is about a week away and that is when we'll find out if we will have a short or extended winter in Cheyenne.

According to folklore, if 'Groundhog Day' is cloudy and the groundhog doesn't see its shadow, then that means winter will end soon. If he sees his shadow, then it means 6 more weeks of the cold stuff.

Here are some facts about the little guy who will predict our fate for the next 6 weeks.

  1. Punxsutawney Phil - Yes - he is the only official groundhog to predict the next 6 weeks. If there are others, then they are deemed, imposters.
  2. Groundhog Punch - Punxsutawney is given 'groundhog punch' every summer at the official Groundhog Picnic. This is a secret recipe, so we don't have it for you here.
  3. The First Groundhog Day - The first Groundhog Day, on record was prior to Wyoming becoming a state. 1887 was the year and Gobbler's Knob, PA was the place that the first rodent meteorologist gave his forecast.
  4. The Legend - It actually has origins grounded in the Christian religion. Clergy would hand out candles with signified warmth because of the cold and the length of winter. The event was called Candlemas Day, which marks the halfway point between the longest and shortest day of the year.
  5. A Groundhog's Lifespan - A normal groundhog will live about 6-8 years. But with Punxsutawney's special punch, we will probably get about 7 more years out of him.