Staten Island Chuck at Ripley’s Believe it or Not!

If you thought winter was brutal this year, strap in for another six weeks of bitter cold. At least that’s what Punxsutawney Phil predicted at 7:20am EST this morning when he crawled out of his burrow in Pennsylvania and spotted his shadow. 

Thousands of people gathered in Punxsutawney — a small town located about 80 miles northeast of Pittsburgh — for the annual event, which takes place in Gobbler’s Knob. The tradition is hosted by members of the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, and has taken place since 1887. This year marked the 132nd ceremony, which brought visitors from around the world.

According to popular belief, if a groundhog exits a burrow and sees his/her shadow, we can expect six more weeks of winter. But if there is no shadow, spring will make an early arrival.

Despite Phil’s prognostication, hope for warmer days is not all lost: turns out Staten Island Chuck, Phil’s marmot rival, predicted an early spring. Not in attendance for the ceremony was Mayor Bill de Blasio, who hasn’t attended the event at the Staten Island Zoo for the past three years — perhaps due, in part, to the fact that he dropped “Chuck” (really his female impersonator, Charlotte) in 2014.

Next, check out the last time we encountered Staten Island Chuck.