NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – Staten Island Chuck and Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see their shadows on Sunday morning, with both predicting an early spring.
At the Staten Island Zoo, schoolchildren and elected officials cheered Sunday morning as a curtain was pulled back at a glass enclosure containing Staten Island Chuck.
“Chuck, Chuck, Chuck!” the crowd chanted as the groundhog made his prognostication.
Chuck’s forecast was read aloud by Master of Ceremonies Ed Burke.
“The verdict is early spring, hooray!” Burke said.
Burke said you can trust chuck.
“He’s accurate 80 percent of the time, remarkably,” Burke said.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson did the honors interpreting. Chuck was not picked up. This has been a hands-free event ever since 2014, when Mayor Bill de Blasio accidentally killed Chuck’s predecessor by dropping her.
Many in the crowd were pleased with Chuck’s prediction.
“Very happy, very excited to get some warm weather,” one attendee named Allison said.
“I really love that he predicted spring,” a girl said.
Malverne Mel on Long Island saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter.
Long Island's other groundhog, Holtsville Hall, also predicted six more weeks of winter.
Essex Ed in New Jersey did not see his shadow, predicting an early spring.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog on Sunday declared: “Spring will be early, it's a certainty.”
At sunrise on Groundhog Day, members of Punxsutawney Phil's top hat-wearing inner circle revealed the cuddly oracle's prediction — his 134th, according to the Pennsylvania Tourism Office.
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.