Staten Island Groundhog Calls for Early Spring

Chuck's better-known fellow prognosticator, Punxsutawney Phil, also had the same prediction in Pennsylvania

Sunday, Feb 3, 2013  |  Updated 9:58 AM EDT
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Staten Island's famous groundhog, Chuck, did not see his shadow and has called for an early spring this year.

"He wants everybody to know, spring is coming," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who coaxed the wily animal out of his hole at the Staten Island Zoo as crowds chanted "Wake up Chuck!"

Chuck's better-known fellow prognosticator, Punxsutawney Phil, also had the same prediction in Pennsylvania.

Tri-staters certainly weren't feeling any signs of spring on Saturday. Wind chills were in the single digits in the morning, and the cold is expected to stick around, with snow showers developing by the end of the day.

Sunday is also chilly, with a high of 35, and possibly more snow showers.

Groundhog Day originated in the late 19th century. About 39 percent of the animals' predictions are accurate, experts say.

Mayor Bloomberg, who leaves office at the end of the year, skipped what would have been his final Groundhog Day ceremony Saturday, after attending faithfully over the years of his three terms -- even suffering a bite from Chuck in 2009.

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