Annual Groundhog Day prediction celebrated at West Virginia State Wildlife Center.

FRENCH CREEK, W.Va. — Get ready for an early spring. French Creek Freddie, West Virginia’s most popular weather-predicting mammal, called for warmer temperatures during his annual Groundhog Day celebration at the state’s Wildlife Center in Upshur County on Thursday.

“When it comes to predicting the weather, Freddie’s a pro,” said Trevor Moore, wildlife biologist for the West Virginia State Wildlife Center. “Freddie couldn’t wait to come out of his burrow to spend his special day with fans and hopes everyone will come back and visit him this spring and summer to help him celebrate the Wildlife Center’s 100th anniversary.”

According to tradition, if skies are cloudy and a groundhog doesn’t see its shadow, an early spring can be expected. Six more weeks of winter can be expected if skies are clear and a groundhog returns to its burrow after getting spooked by seeing its shadow. In the past 40 years, Freddie’s forecasts have been accurate about 50 percent of the time. Freddie predicted an extended winter in 2022.

The West Virginia Wildlife Center in Upshur County is home to French Creek Freddie and nearly 30 different species of West Virginia mammals, birds and reptiles. The center is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., seven days a week through the end of March. Admission is free during this period. Regular hours and admission go into effect in April. To learn more about the Wildlife Center and for directions, visit