Considering the icy, slushy mess New York-area residents are coping with right now, the notion of an early spring seems laughable at this point.
Yet, seemingly defying the odds, both Staten Island Chuck and Punxsutawney Phil did not see their shadows on this wintry Groundhog Day. Chuck, whose adorable mug has graced the Channel 4 studio (just ask Sue Simmons, who also offers quite the impression), offered his prediction at the Staten Island Zoo in West Brighton, surrounded by local officials and community members.
Amid shouts of "Chuck, Chuck, Chuck!" the little critter peered around for a bit before creeping out of his house, nibbling on some corn and posing for a rather awkward-looking photo op with Mayor Michael Bloomberg (whom he's bitten in the past) before retreating, gratefully, no doubt, to his home.
For his part, Punxsutawney Phil made his annual prediction at Gobbler's Knob, surrounded by, gulp, Pittsburgh Steelers fans.
Meanwhile, the tri-state area continues to be battered by brutal winter, the latest of which brought an ice storm that caused treacherous walking and driving conditions this morning.
About three quarters of an inch of ice is expected by midmorning before the sleet/freezing rain changes to all rain by midday.
In Central Park, pathways were like an ice-skating rink. Commuters from north of the city getting off buses along Fifth Avenue had to carefully maneuver sidewalks covered in sleet.