NEW YORK - Most people know the famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, especially after his star turn in the Bill Murray classic Groundhog Day, but not as many people are aware of his rival: Staten Island Chuck.
Chuck is a resident of the Staten Island Zoo, and his Groundhog day prediction works the same way as Phil’s. If the groundhog sees his shadow on Groundhog Day that means we’re in for another six weeks of winter--if not, that means an early spring is on the way.
Chuck can be a little grumpy, and he’s been known to occasionally bite the mayor, as he did with Mayor Bloomberg back in 2009. Because of that incident, Chuck, who is formally known as Charles G. Hogg, was secretly replaced with his granddaughter Charlotte after Bill de Blasio became Mayor. Controversy struck again when Charlotte died a week after being dropped by de Blasio in 2014.
Chuck might not be as famous as his rival from Pennsylvania, but it turns out that Chuck’s predictions are correct more often than Phil’s.
Since 1992, Staten Island Chuck has been correct in his predictions 68% of the time. In that same time period, Punxsutawney Phil has made the right call just 42% of the time.
Even better news for fans of Chuck? He’s more of an optimist… predicting a shorter winter 15 out of the last 17 years.