Holtsville Hal and Malverne Mel delivered conflicting Groundhog Day predictions for the second year in a row on Thursday during their festive early morning ceremonies on Long Island.
Hal saw his shadow, meaning six more weeks of winter, according to folklore, while Mel did not see his shadow, suggesting that spring-like weather will arrive sooner.
“Upon looking for his shadow, it could not be seen,” Malverne Village Mayor Keith Corbett said Tuesday to cheers as polka music began playing. “I hereby announce that is will be an early spring.”
As for the nation’s most famous groundhog, Punxatawnbey Phil saw his shadow. Phil has a 40% accuracy rate for the 10-year span preceding 2017, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Staten Island Chuck joined Mel in bucking Phil’s prediction. Buffalo Bert agreed with Phil.
Later on Thursday, Allen McButterpants made his debut with an early-spring prediction at the Evelyn Alexander Wildlife Rescue Center in Hampton Bays, and Sam Champion, former known as Quoque Quigley, made a return under a new name to forecast six more weeks of winter.
The predictions come amid a mild, mostly snow-free winter as the National Weather Service warns of dangerously cold weather with wind chills potentially as low as -25 Friday into Saturday.
Both Hal and Mel more often than not predict an early spring.
Here’s how the local groundhogs did in years past:
2022: Holtsvile Hal said spring, Malverne Mel said winter
2021: Hal, Mel and Quogue Quigley, aka Sam Champion, all agreed it would be an early spring
2020: Hal and Mel said it would be a long winter, Quigley said early spring
2019: Hal, Mel and Quigley forecast an early spring
2018; Hal, Mel and Quigley forecast an early spring
2017: Hal said there would be six more weeks of winter
2016: Hal and Mel agreed it would be an early spring
2015: Hal and Mel saw their shadows, meaning more wintry weather
2014: Hal and Mel did not see their shadows, meaning spring-like weather
2013: Hal and Mel said there would be more wintry weather
2012: Hal said spring, Mel said winter
2011: Hal said winter
2010: Hal and Mel said winter
2009: Hal said winter, Mel said spring
2008: Mel said spring
2007 Hal said winter, Mel said spring