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Charlotte Area

Charlotte Groundhog Predicts Early Spring In 2020

Discovery Place Nature
Queen Charlotte, resident groundhog at Discovery Place Nature.

Queen Charlotte, the royal resident groundhog at Discovery Place Nature, issued a preeminent prognostication Sunday morning for an early spring in the Charlotte area. It was the groundhog's fifth prognostication since ascending to the throne as a pup in 2015.

Unlike her counterpart in Punxsutawney, Queen Charlotte does not base her predictions on the visibility of her shadow, but rather which side of a plexiglass box has a more appealing plate of vegetables.

Her royal handlers built the diorama to make the event more palatable for the groundhog, which staff members have acknowledged in private can be difficult to work with. In 2016, the rodent declined to participate in her ceremonial day, leaving local media and museum staff twiddling thumbs and tapping feet as she declined to leave her cage, the Charlotte Observer reported.

The following year, her handlers opted to have her tweet her royal pognostication from the privacy of her own chambers.

This year the event went smoothly, despite the groundhog appearing somewhat disgruntled in a photo tweeted out by the museum shortly before the ceremonial event.

Generally, the royal groundhog's predictions have favored long winters. Only once before, in 2017, has she predicted an early spring. Her predictions have occasionally been at odds with Punxsutawney Phil, whom the queen has slammed on Twitter, saying he "doesn't know what he's talking about," and "doesn't even have a crown."

This year, however, the two groundhogs are in agreement, and their predictions seem to be reflected in the latest forecast for the Charlotte area. Temperatures are expected to climb into the mid-to-upper 60s this week after bitter cold temperatures last week and brief snow flurries Friday morning.

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