WIARTON, Ont. (CP) — It’s Groundhog Day — the day millions of North Americans turn to weather prognosticating rodents in the hope they’ll call for an early spring.
Canada is home to several of the furry forecasters — Ontario’s Wiarton Willie, Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam, and Manitoba’s lesser known woodchuck, Winnipeg Willow. Cape Breton’s resident groundhog Two Rivers Tunnel will make his prediction later in the day.
Sam was the first out of his burrow this morning to make his prediction to a worldwide audience via webcam, and sadly for those hoping for an early spring, the pride of Shubenacadie did see his shadow.
Folklore has it that if a groundhog sees its shadow on Groundhog Day it’ll flee back to its burrow, heralding six more weeks of winter, and if it doesn’t, it means spring’s just around the corner.
In Wiarton, a three-day festival is underway with concerts, ice carving and the highlight of Groundhog Day — Willie’s prediction, which will came this morning at exactly 8:07 E.T.. Wiarton Willie didn't see his shadow, meaning he predicts an early spring.
Winnipeg Willow will visit a Mountain Equipment Co-op store to make her prediction, along with an American Kestrel.
Stateside, Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil is generally regarded as the groundhog of record.