MARION - Ohio's official weather-predicting whistlepig says we're in for six more weeks of winter.
That was the word from Buckeye Chuck from his den on the grounds of WMRN radio in Marion. Buckeye Chuck has predicted an early spring in seven of the last 10 years.
The Ohio General Assembly designated Buckeye Chuck as the state's official groundhog in 1979. According to his official Facebook page, Buckeye Chuck's predictions have been accurate 75 percent of the time over the course of his legendary career.
The origin of Groundhog Day can be traced to Candlemas, the ancient European celebration of the midway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. According to the tradition, fair weather on the day of Candlemas meant a stormy and cold second half of winter lay in store.
An Old English poem related to the tradition read, "If Candlemas be fair and bright, Winter has another flight. If Candlemas brings clouds and rain, Winter will not come again."
Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil is the most famous of Buckeye Chuck's weather-predicting cousins. Other weather-forecasting whistlepigs across the U.S. include French Creek Freddie from West Virginia, Gen. Beauregard Lee from Georgia, North Carolina's Sir Wally Wally, Louisiana's Cajun Groundhog, Smith Lake Jake from Alabama, and Staten Island Chuck from New York.
Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow Tuesday morning, thus his prediction means an early spring.