There’s conflicting predictions from Canada’s two most famous forecasting groundhogs, with Wiarton Willie heralding an early spring while Shubenacadie Sam claims there will be six more weeks of winter.
The mayor of the Town of South Bruce Peninsula, which includes the community of Wiarton, announced Willie’s prediction on stage with Premier Doug Ford on Saturday morning.
Winnipeg Willow and Manitoba Merv weren’t able to find their shadows on Monday, signalling spring is just around the corner.
The annual Groundhog Day traditions took place at Cabela’s on Sterling Lyon Parkway and Oak Hammock Marsh, respectively. However, Manitoba Merv is only a puppet, so the real story is whether his handler saw his/her own shadow.
“A wonderful prediction from Winnipeg Willow! Her very active winter behaviour predicts an early spring despite the cloudy weather,” the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre said on Facebook.
But it sure won’t feel like spring today, with Environment Canada forecasting a high of -17°C.
Manitoba’s unofficial groundhog came out of his burrow on Sunday, looked around briefly, but wasn’t able to see his shadow.
Manitoba Merv made his annual appearance bright and early at Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre.
In spite of a cold and snowy winter, Manitobans will have an early spring this year, according to the groundhog.
“As Merv hurried back to his den he assured us that spring will come sooner rather than later and he expects the geese to officially mark the arrival of spring,” Jacques Bourgeois of Oak Hammock Marsh said.
Sunday also marks World Wetlands Day at the Marsh — a celebration of the importance of wetlands around the world.
Winnipeg Willow, the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre’s groundhog, also predicted we’re in store for an early spring.