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The Official Groundhog Day Results are in...

First things first, it is with a heavy heart that we honor the passing of NJ Groundhog Legend Milltown Mel, gone just one day before the groundhog High Holy Day. Fortunately, we know that our sweet, sweet angels will be looking down on you, and we appreciate all of your predictions on the seasons over the years.

That said, it's time we do a deep dive and data analysis on the Groundhogs today, as there were definitely some interesting findings made by yours truly. Today I was able to put on my investigative journalist hat for the first time, and consolidated a list of 30 animals, mostly groundhogs, but also some some nutrias (just learned what that was), a beaver, and an armadillo, that decided how much longer we have to deal with the atrocity that is the Winter Season. Dataset below:

So what did we find? Well, for one, we don't give nearly enough credit to Zoos for naming their animals. Sir Walter Wally? General Beauregard Lee? Even Filbert the Beaver is known locally as Stumptown Fil!

Additionally, I think it's important I explain why this holiday even exists in the first place. The thought was that if you're walking outside in early February and see a groundhog, their hibernation is over and it's about to get warmer. Sounds good on paper, but somehow we decided that if it's overcast on February 2nd and a domesticated groundhog doesn't see its shadow, it means that spring is coming early that year. Also, the other animals don't really work that way, so they play completely different games to decide how much winter is left.

That said, some of these stats are ridiculous. While the most popular 'hog, Punxsutawney Phil, really only is right about 40% of the time (since he's chosen long winter in 85% of his prognostications), you'll see the note that Maryland Murray is supposedly 14/14 in his career!

The total is upsetting - 14 long winters to 13 early springs, and some heavy hitters including Murray are calling for more winter. But here at the Makeshift Project we deal in absolutes, we don't do ifs, buts, or maybes, and I am absolutely going with my guy Charles G. Hogg aka Staten Island Chuck. After being dropped (and maybe killed) by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, he was reincarnated and has been correct more than a whopping 80% of the time.

As long as you live in the Northeast, I think it's fair to #TrustChuck and get your allergy medicine ready, because spring is coming ASAP.

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