WATCH: Groundhog Day 2018 – MOMENT Phil predicts SIX more weeks of winter

The squirrel-like rodent emerged from his burrow to begin the US celebrations and made his prediction in Pennsylvania. 

According to customs, the rodent predicted six more weeks of winter, because Phil saw his shadow.

The 130-year-old custom dictates that if a groundhog emerges from its hole at the end of hibernation and sees its shadow against the sunny weather, it will retreat back to its den with winter lasting a further six weeks.

But if there are cloudy skies when the groundhog – a rodent from the marmota squirrel family – comes above ground then the spring season will arrive early. 

The event is celebrated annually in the US and Canada on February 2 and this year marks the 132nd Groundhog Day in Pennsylvania.

Groundhog Day is marked officially in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, with a groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil who lives on a small hill in the nearby town of Gobbler’s Knob.

While observed in many parts of the USA, Groundhog Day is not a public holiday but the event attracts widespread attention from fans.

Thousands of people have attended the ritual over the years and the state’s governor has even attended in the past.

The first Groundhog Day was celebrated officially at Gobler’s Knob, Punxsutawney on February 2, 1887.

Local newspaper editor Clymer Freas came up with the idea after saying that Phil was America’s official groundhog meteorologist. But, Phil is only right about 20 percent of the time.