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Holtsville Hal and Malverne Mel, Long Island’s resident groundhogs, to make annual appearance Tuesday

Holtsville Hal handler Greg Drossel shows off the

Holtsville Hal handler Greg Drossel shows off the groundhog on Feb. 2, 2014, at the Brookhaven Town Wildlife and Ecology Center Animal Preserve. Hal is scheduled for a return engagement on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016. Photo Credit: James Carbone

They’re baaaaack.

Long Island’s resident groundhogs, Holtsville Hal and Malverne Mel, will emerge from their respective lairs Tuesday morning to answer that unrelenting weather question: Will it be an early spring or six more weeks of winter?

Given the Tuesday morning forecast of clear skies, News 12 Long Island meteorologist Rich Hoffman predicted Monday that Hal and Mel “should see their shadow.” As legend has it, that would mean six more weeks of winter.

Malverne Mel will make his prediction at 7 a.m. in the gazebo on Church Street in Malverne. Village trustees and local officials will look on as Malverne Mayor Patricia Norris-McDonald will try to encourage the furry forecaster to leave his hole.

The event will continue at Crossroads Farm at Grossmann’s, featuring music by the Banjo Rascals, a petting zoo and poster contest.

Though last year’s celebration was called off due to bad weather, this time around Highway Superintendent Daniel Losquadro says he looks forward to presenting Holtsville Hal’s famous forecast.

The event will be held at the Brookhaven Town Wildlife and Ecology Center Animal Preserve beginning at 7 a.m. Losquadro will announce Hal’s prediction at 7:25 a.m. Free hot chocolate will be provided.

Last year Malverne Mel, Holtsville Hal and Punxsutawney Phil — the prognosticator featured at the country’s largest Groundhog Day celebration in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania — all ruled in favor of six more weeks of winter. Staten Island Chuck, however, called for an early spring.

With Gary Dymski

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