Here on the East Coast, whether you like it or not, Groundhog Day is a major celebrated holiday. It’s a day in which we raise a giant rodent to an day of sun, or clouds, and let him play God. Lest his shadow comes or goes, we follow his decision for an early spring or more winter months. You know, like wind chill, snow fall, climate change, and weather reports mean nothing. But did you know there isn’t just one, but several weather predicting groundhogs throughout the North America?
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The most famous groundhog known in the United States, and maybe the world since we boast about our weather predicting groundhog, is Punxsutawney Phil. A fat, buck toothed, furry creature lives with his fmily, a “wife” named Phyllis and a “daughter” named Phelicia on Gobbler’s Knob in the Punxsutawney city area. Phil has been a celebrated icon since 1887, and became a national celebrity when the movie ‘Groundhog Day,” featuring Bill Murray, came out in 1993. According to lore, there has only been one Punxsutawney that has lived and made weather predictions since 1886; this eternal essence is thanks to “groundhog punch.”
Buckeye Chuck is an Ohio resident and is one of two weather predicting rodents in the state. He was declared the official representative in 1979. Unfortunately, he’s had minor success as a weather foreseer, only being 75% correct during his career.
Staten Island Chuck, formally known as Charles G. Hogg, is the official meteorologist of New York City. His traditional career began in 1981 and has had some interesting controversy in recent years. Chuck bit the New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2009; Bloomberg ceased to visit him for the rest of his term. In 2014, Chuck was secretly replaced by his granddaughter Charlotte for Bill de Blasio’s first ceremony. He dropped the Charlotte, and she died soon after. It’s unknown if she died from the drop or from different causes. Chuck’s daughter Charlotte Jr. took over in 2015; de Blasio watched from afar and did not attend the 2016 and 2017 events either.
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Dunkirk Dave is from western New York and is the world’s second longest prognosticating groundhog. Working for 58 years, he was found by a wildlife rehabilitator Bob Will. Dunkirk Dave lives in a center for small animals with about 40 other groundhogs. He enjoys a comfortable and quiet life.
North Carolina’s Sir Wally Wally has been predicting weather since 1998. He is the biggest competitor of Punxsutawney Phil, who has been correct on 37%; Wally has been correct around 58% of the time. Some other North Carolina groundhog predictors are Grady (Chimney Rock State Park), Sunshine and Stormy (N.C. Zoo Wildlife Rehabilitation Center) , Nibbles (WNC Nature Center in Asheville), and Queen Charlote (Charlotte, NC).
Jimmy the Groundhog is from Wisconsin. He lives up to the family business and is the 12th generation of weather predicting groundhogs. He gained certain popularity after biting the year of the mayor in 2015 and became a viral sensation.
General Beauregard Lee is an educated groundhog from Georgia. He has a certificate from the University of Georgia and is an official “DWP, Doctor of Weather Prognostication” and a “Doctor of Southern Groundology.” His 94% accuracy shows his education.
Shubenacadie Sam is another groundhog from Canada. Because of time zones, he is the first groundhog on the holiday to make a prediction in North America. He is allowed a casual holiday and is not woken up from hibernation for Groundhog Day. Some other Canadian groundhogs include “Brandon Bob” (Brandon, Manitoba) and “Gary the Groundhog” (Kleinburg, Ontario).