Will ‘Woodstock Willie’ see its shadow? – NBC Chicago

The past few days have certainly felt more wintry in the Chicago area, with freezing temperatures and several different snowfalls, but the region’s annual spring onset barometer is ready to make its prediction.

Dating back to the 1990s, suburban Woodstock was home to “Woodstock Willie”, a groundhog who called the town home after filming Bill Murray’s hit “Groundhog Day.”

Much like his cousin Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania, Willie will be kicked out of his tree trunk on Thursday morning, and hundreds of people are expected to see whether or not he will see his shadow.

According to tradition, if he sees his shadow, the Chicago area will experience another six weeks of winter, which coincides with the spring equinox on March 21.

If he doesn’t, then an early spring will be in sight.

It’s unclear how accurate Willie’s predictions are, but the NBC 5 Storm team weighs in with their own predictions of how the day will unfold.

According to forecast models, partly sunny skies are expected on Thursday morning, and if that forecast materializes, then it will be six weeks before winter loosens its grip on the region.

Fortunately, warmer temperatures are also expected after a few days of well below average cold weather.

Either way, there will be plenty of activities to keep residents busy during the Groundhog Day festivities, including tours of some of the sites where the iconic movie was filmed, a themed breakfast, and more.

More information can be found on the city’s website.

NBC Chicago

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