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Groundhog Day predictions: Punxsutawney Phil vs. Staten Island Chuck

Posted at 5:53 AM, Feb 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-02 08:37:51-05

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. — The handlers of Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, say the furry rodent has "predicted" six more weeks of winter after seeing his shadow. However, local groundhog Staten Island Chuck has something very different to say about our futures.

Members of Punxsutawney Phil's top hat-wearing inner circle revealed their "forecast" at sunrise Thursday.

Around the same time Staten Island Chuck also arose, but did not see his shadow — predicting an early spring.

The festivities have their 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.

Records dating to 1887 show Phil has now predicted more winter 103 times while forecasting an early spring just 18 times — including last year. There are no records for the remaining years.

PIX11's Ashley Soley-Cerro contributed to this report.