The traditional Pennsylvania Dutch winter weather forecast returns Wednesday, Feb. 2, to Myerstown Recreation Park at 8 a.m.

Although “Phil” gets most of the attention across the commonwealth and nation—likely in large part due to the classic Bill Murray film, Groundhog Day—the tradition dates back more than century and in fact Lebanon County still has two furry meteorologists at our disposal: Myerstown’s Uni and Mt. Gretna’s Grady, who have held their positions since 1982 and 2018 respectively.

Read More: [Photo Story] Lebanon County groundhogs Uni & Grady split on forecast

Lebanon Daily News, Front Page, Feb. 2, 1911

Uni’s appearance is coordinated by the Union Kanaal Grundsau Lodsch #17 of Eastern Lebanon County.

Uni pictured on his boat on the Tulpehocken Creek. In use from 1828-1884, the Union Canal used the Tulpehocken Creek as part of its intended “golden link” between the Schuylkill and Susquehanna rivers. Massive stone locks from the Union Canal remain standing in parts of Berks and Lebanon Counties. (Will Trostel)

Read More: ‘Uni’ isn’t short for unique, but it could be

The Eastern Lebanon County chapter of the Groundhog Lodge is one of 17 located in eastern Pennsylvania. Each lodge hosts its own unique event on Groundhog’s Day, but the real purpose of the lodges is to honor and continue the Pennsylvania Dutch heritage.

Read More: Union Canal Groundhog Lodge #17 celebrates 40 years of preserving Pennsylvania Dutch culture

Groundhog Lodge 17 (or Grundsau Lodsch Nummer Siwwezeh, in PA Dutch) was established in 1982. (Jeff Falk)

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