Punxsutawney Phil, the American groundhog famous for his weather predictions, emerged from his burrow atop Gobbler's Knob in Pennsylvania on Monday (February 2) and saw his shadow, forecasting six more weeks of winter.

Phil saw his shadow at 7:25 a.m. EST (1225gmt) in the Western Pennsylvania borough of Punxsutawney, the self-proclaimed weather capital of the world.

Legend has it that if the groundhog sees his shadow, six more weeks of winter will take place in North America. If he does not see his shadow, cold weather is on its way out.

Last year, Phil saw his shadow — the final nail in the coffin for what was one of the most brutally long winters in the US. The unrelenting winter dragged on through March in many places in 2014. Around Washington DC, many locations accumulated more than 30 inches of snow last winter, and Phil chalked another one up in the "verified" column.

While no one questions Phil's dedication to the seasonal outlook, his accuracy is an enduring source of controversy.

In 2013, Phil issued a forecast for an early spring, but bitter cold and snow gripped the eastern US into March that year. The prosecuting attorney in Butler County, Ohio went as far as to seek the death penalty for Phil for "misrepresentation of early spring" before a Pennsylvania law firm came to Phil's defence, claiming the Ohio attorney had no jurisdiction to prosecute the Groundhog.