Famed prognosticators Punxsutawney Phil and Woodstock Willie emerged this Groundhog Day and neither saw their shadow, indicating an early spring.
In Woodstock, which has embraced its role as the filming location for the 1993 movie "Groundhog Day," Willie was upstaged by the appearance of a more reliable weatherman, WGN-TV's long-time chief meteorologist Tom Skilling.
Woodstock Mayor Mike Turner declared it not only Groundhog Day but Tom Skilling Day, in honor of Skilling's pending retirement.
After 45 years on the job, Skilling knows better than anyone the challenges of predicting Chicago's weather. Asked what he and his fellow professionals think of Willie's amateur efforts, Skilling said, "We get a kick out of it."
This is the second year Phil and Willie have agreed in their forecasts. Both saw their shadow — meaning six more weeks of winter — in 2023. In 2021 and 2022, the groundhogs went their separate ways.