BOROUGHWIDE — It’s unanimous! Our favorite groundhogs, Staten Island Chuck and Pennsylvania’s legendary Punxsutawney Phil are in agreement that spring is on its way.
The annual foretelling of whether we will be enjoying an early spring or suffering through six more weeks of winter was decided on Sunday, February 2 when the two gracious groundhogs did not see their shadows.
And with the thermometer hovering closer to 50 than freezing, on Sunday, Phil’s prediction might be right on the mark. Since the groundhog’s first prediction in 1887 through this year, Phil has seen his shadow 104 times, only failing to spot it on 20 occasions.
Closer to our neck of the woods, Staten Island Chuck confirmed Phil’s earlier forecast as U.S. Rep. Max Rose, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Assemblymember Michael Cusick were anxiously waiting at the Staten Island Zoo for Chuck’s prognosis.
Fortunately things went smoothly, unlike 2014’s groundhog catastrophe, when Mayor de Blasio dropped Charlotte, a female groundhog posing as Chuck. She died a week later, though it was never confirmed that her death was a direct result of the fall. This is the fifth year de Blasio has skipped the event.
With tulips and crocuses beginning to bloom early and birds chirping in the trees and gardens, Phil and Chuck’s foretelling could bode well for better weather days ahead.
Rose, a Democrat who represents parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island, left no shadow of a doubt that he was thrilled to be there.
“It was an amazing Groundhog Day crowd at the Staten Island Zoo, which is always such a fun and incredible event to be a part of,” Rose said.