Thousands across the country are turning to furry forecasters with names like Shubenacadie Sam and Wiarton Willie Tuesday with hopes that winter’s end is near.
According to tradition, if the groundhog sees its shadow when it emerges from its burrow on Groundhog Day there will be six more weeks of winter.
At 7 a.m., Shubenacadie Sam in Nova Scotia didn’t see his shadow, predicting an early spring.
At around 7:45 a.m., Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil, arguably the best-known weather predicting whistle dog, also didn’t see his shadow.
Wiarton is holding a festival to celebrate 60th anniversary of predictions by the town’s albino groundhog Willie.
Sadly, this year’s festivities in Manitoba have been canceled due to the death of Winnipeg Willow, who died last Friday at the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Punxsutawney Phil noted Winnipeg Willow’s passing with his handlers saying they were surprised by news of the death of Phil’s colleague.
Last year, Canada’s furry forecasters didn’t agree on their predictions.
Shubenacadie Sam and Punxsutawney Phil emerged from their burrows and both say their shadows, predicting a longer winter. However, Wiarton Willie didn’t see his shadow, forecasting an early spring.
Regardless of who sees their shadow Tuesday, a typical Canadian winter usually doesn’t end until after March 16th.