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Groundhogs predict early spring


According to several groundhogs, spring is right around the corner.
According to several groundhogs, spring is right around the corner.

Jill Colton, staff writer

February 2, 2011 — Ontario's Wiarton Willie, Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam and New Brunswick's Oromocto Ollie all predicted an early spring earlier this morning.

This groundhog is hiding from the cold weather.
This groundhog is hiding from the cold weather.

Ontario's Wiarton Willie, Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam and New Brunswick's Oromocto Ollie all failed to see their shadows Wednesday morning. Which means it's going to be an early spring.

The three Canadian rodents were in agreement with Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil, who also forecasted that spring would arrive two weeks early.

Although it might not be a surprise that Willie didn't see his shadow. A storm hit southern Ontario late Tuesday evening and snow has been piling up since. Up to 30 cm is expected to fall across parts of the province by Wednesday afternoon.

One Wiarton Willie Festival official was so happy with the furry forecaster's prediction he joked about booking an early tee time on the golf course.

The severe storm is also packing a punch across Atlantic Canada. Environment Canada has issued snowfall and winter storm warnings across various communities. Despite the harsh conditions, Shubenacadie Sam emerged early this morning from a sleepy slumber to the sound of bagpipes and giddy school children watching the event.

Alberta's Balzac Billy will make his prediction later on Wednesday.

Forklore has it that if a groundhog sees his shadow on Groundhog Day (February 2), he'll run back to his burrow motioning six cold more weeks of winter. If he doesn't flee, this means spring's arrival is around the corner.

Last year, several of the furry weather predictors forecasted six more weeks of winter.

With files from The Canadian Press.

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