Lilburn, Ga. groundhog fails to see his shadow

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Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012

LILBURN, Ga. (AP) -- The South's iconic groundhog, Gen. Beauregard Lee, waddled out of his "Weathering Heights" mansion and failed to see his shadow on the Georgia red dirt.

The development bodes well for warm weather:

No shadow means an early spring, hundreds of spectators were told as the prediction was made around 7:30 a.m. Thursday outside Atlanta.

The groundhog emerged to make the prediction moments after a crowd cheered, "Go Beau, Go Beau, Go Beau!"

Beau's caretakers at the Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn say he has a 94 percent accuracy rating, giving him a better record than Punxsutawney Phil, his famous Pennsylvania counterpart.

The ranch says that every year on Feb. 2, the Georgia groundhog wakes up to the ringing of an antique bell to forecast the spring weather.

(Copyright 2012, The Associated Press)