The region's most popular weather prognosticator has made The Weather's Channel's Top 10 Prognosticating Groundhogs.
In honor of Groundhog Day, The Weather Channel has compiled a list of the "Top 11 Groundhogs to Watch" based on "accuracy and popularity." Topping the list is the famous Punxsutawney Phil, which was the star of the 1993 movie with Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell and Chris Elliott. The area's own Dunkirk Dave landed in fourth place.
The full list is as follows:
1. Punxsutawney Phil (Punxsutawney, Pa.)
2. Staten Island Chuck (Staten Island, and official groundhog meteorologist of New York City)
3. General Beauregard Lee (Lilburn, Ga.)
4. Dunkirk Dave (Dunkirk)
5. Chattanooga Chuck (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
6. Buckeye Chuck (Marion, Ohio)
7. Sir Walter Walley (Raleigh, N.C.)
8. Jimmy the Groundhog (Sun Prairie, Wis.)
9. Malverne Mel (Malverne, N.Y.)
10. Holtsville Hal (Holtsville, N.Y.)
11. Woody (Howell, Mich.)
Bob Will, Dunkirk Dave's handler, and a wildlife rehabilitator, believes the local groundhog's ranking should be higher.
"I don't get it," he said.
According to Will, Dave is the second-longest prognosticator, is reportedly more accurate than Punxatawney Phil, and is featured in a soon-to-be-released National Geographic Kids book about animal superstars.
On Groundhog's Day, local residents can see Dunkirk Dave in action live.
The local groundhog will be making his prediction today at 7:30 a.m. The event takes place at 5117 Farmlane Drive in Dunkirk. There is no admission fee. After the prediction, Will and his friend William Verge will answer questions about groundhogs.
Viewers can also tune in to The Weather Channel today from 5 a.m. to noon for "Decision 2013: Phil's Forecast," which will be co-anchored by Jen Carfagno and Jim Cantore in Punxsutawney, and Maria LaRosa and Reynolds Wolf in Atlanta.
The Weather Channel will have comprehensive live coverage available of multiple Groundhog Day celebrations around the country, featuring the most up-to-the-minute reports and details on the predictions of several of the most famous furry prognosticators.