Holtsville Hal, Malverne Mel Reveal Groundhog Day Forecast

Groundhog Day
Malverne Mal with his handler Bruce Berger at Crossroad’s Farm at Grossmans in Melville on Groundhog Day, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. (Photo by Joe Abate)

Long Island’s two leading weather forecasting rodents, Holtsville Hal and Malverne Mel, both saw their shadows on Groundhog Day, which means there will be six more weeks of winter, according to lore.

It marked the first time since 2015 that both Hal and Mel saw their shadows on Groundhog Day. But now two local newcomers to the groundhog scene are also weighing in. Quogue Quigley, who debuted three years ago, did not see his shadow for the third year in a row, once again predicting an early spring. Great Neck Greta‘s debut prediction Sunday was also an early spring.

“At sunrise this morning I was frightened to see, a shadow in the shape of me,” Brookhaven Highway Superintendent Daniel P. Losquadro said Sunday while reading Hal’s prediction at the Holtsville Ecology Center, drawing groans from the crowd. “I scurried back in side to return to my slumber, but not before warning you to stock up on your lumber. Spring will have to wait, there’s still more shoveling to do. Six more weeks of winter we can look forward to.”

Hal and Mel both bucked the forecast of the nation’s foremost groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, who did not see his shadow, suggesting an early spring. Making the same prediction as Phil were the tri-state area’s other groundhogs, Staten Island Chuck, New Jersey’s Milltown Mel, Connecticut’s Chuckles, and upstate New York’s Dunkirk Dave.

Regardless of what the woodchucks say, the spring equinox is six weeks away: March 19.

Greg Drossel, Holtsville Hal’s handler for two decades, held Holtsville Hal up for all to see in 2018. (Photo by Christa Ganz).


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