What to Know
- Staten Island Chuck did not see his shadow on Groundhog Day Sunday morning, foretelling an early spring
- Punxsutawney Phil did not see his shadow either, so he, too, predicted an early spring
- The event has its origin in a German legend that says if a furry rodent casts a shadow on Feb. 2, winter continues. If not, spring comes early
New York City’s own Staten Island Chuck and Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil have both predicted an early spring.
The Staten Island Zoo groundhog didn’t see his shadow at the zoo’s Groundhog Day ceremony Sunday morning.
Chuck has “a prediction success rate of nearly 80 percent,” the zoo notes on its website.
Punxsutawney Phil, meanwhile, made the same prognostication at his own Groundhog Day ceremony in Pennsylvania.
Awoken by the crowd's chants of “Phil!” the groundhog was hoisted in the air for the assembly to hail before making his decision. He then grasped the glove of a handler as a member of his inner circle announced that spring would come early this year.
The annual event has its origin in a German legend that says if a furry rodent casts a shadow on Feb. 2, winter continues. If not, spring comes early.
In reality, Phil's prediction is decided ahead of time by the group on Gobbler's Knob, a tiny hill just outside Punxsutawney. That's about 65 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.
Over the past five years — from 2015 through 2019 — Phil has predicted six more weeks of winter thrice and an early spring twice.
According to records dating back to 1887, the Pennsylvanian prognosticator has predicted more winter more than 100 times, making this year's forecast a rare one overall.