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Staten Island Chuck predicts an early spring during virtual Groundhog Day event

Groundhog Staten Island Chuck is seen in his viewing unit, a box with clear plastic sides and fake turf, during a Groundhog Day weather prediction event at the Staten Island Zoo in New York February 2, 2015. Legend has it that if the groundhog sees his shadow, North America will experience six more weeks of winter and if he does not, spring will come early.
REUTERS/Stephanie Keith

Good morning woodchuck chuckers, it’s official: spring is coming early.

Monday’s nor’easter could not stop the Staten Island Zoo, who held a virtual Groundhog Day celebration on Tuesday morning sponsored by Investors Bank. During this time, Staten Island Chuck — in the apparently pre-recorded affair, as the sun was shining on the snow-free ground — reportedly did not see his shadow, predicting an early spring.

This year, Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil, the OG of Groundhog Day in the US, disagreed with Chuck and predicted six more weeks of winter. We’ll see who will be correct in their prediction in the weeks to come.

Not to be confused with the popular film of the same name starring Bill Murray, Groundhog Day has been a time-honored tradition in the United States and Canada. The idea for the holiday came from a Pennsylvania Dutch legend which suggested that if a groundhog sees its shadow and runs back into a hole on Feb. 2, the area could expect six more weeks of winter — however, if the groundhog doesn’t see its shadow, it likely means that spring weather would arrive earlier than normal. 

Last year, both Chuck and Phil agreed and predicted that spring would come early. Whether it be by coincidence or truth in the folklore, New York had one of the mildest winters during 2020. 

It remains to be seen if anyone appears to be stuck in a time loop reliving Feb. 2 over and over again. Click here to watch the zoo’s Groundhog Day event.

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