Groundhog Day Forecast From Famous Rodent
Punxsutawney Phil, the world-famous mascot of Groundhog Day, has made his official prediction. After emerging from his burrow in the time-honored tradition, Mr. Phil saw his own shadow, signifying that New York has six more weeks of winter.
However—not so fast Punxsutawney—a challenger has appeared!
Charles G. Hogg, “Staten Island Chuck” to his fans, has cast a counter-prediction. Is a rumble inevitable?
Did the groundhog see his shadow? It depends on who you ask.
Since the month of January was one of the warmest in Syracuse’s history this year, many Central New Yorkers expected Groundhog’s Day 2012 would bring news of an early spring.
As fate would have it, the world’s most famous weather forecaster, Punxsutawney Phil, emerged from his hole at Gobbler’s Knob in Pennsylvania and declared that he did see his shadow this February 2nd. Since Phil saw his shadow, we’re supposedly expecting six more weeks of winter.
But Charles G. Hogg, the furry prognosticator at Staten Island Zoo better known as Staten Island Chuck, disagreed with the star of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on hand at a ceremony Thursday morning where Staten Island Chuck did not see his shadow, predicting an early spring. The New York groundhog indicated that milder weather is likely to be with us until March 20, the calendar start of spring.
Bloomberg survived this year’s event unscathed. In 2009, Chuck took a nibble out of the mayor’s hand, forcing Bloomberg to wash a finger and put on a bandage.
According to CBS, Chuck has accurately predicted the forecast 80 percent of the time since the 1980s (though he hasn’t been around as long as Phil’s 125 years).
Another rodent that disagreed with Phil’s extended winter is Georgia’s most famous groundhog, General Beauregard Lee. He did not see his shadow at Gwinnett County’s Yellow River Game Ranch, indicating that Atlanta and the surrounding area would see an early spring.
Ohio’s Buckeye Chuck also failed to see a shadow – it seems Punxsutawney Phil may be the only groundhog who’s predicting six more weeks of winter.
If you ask Bill Murray, of course, he’d probably quote a more negative forecast after reliving Groundhog’s Day over and over again in the Harold Ramis movie of the same name. “I’ll give you a winter prediction: It’s gonna be cold, it’s gonna be grey, and it’s gonna last you for the rest of your life,” his hilariously tortured character Phil Conners said.
What do you think—which groundhog made the right call?