Willie and Phil say six more weeksSunday, February 02, 2014 by: Donna Hopper
The folklore surrounding Groundhog Day states that should the rodent see its shadow as it emerges from its burrow, it will scurry back inside indicating six more weeks of winter.
If no shadow is visible, an early spring is in the forecast.
Today, live via webcam, Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam failed to see his shadow.
Since 1987, Sam has traditionally been the first North American spring arrival forecaster as he's called out of his special heated house to observe the day at 8 a.m. AST.
In Ontario, Canada's most famous prognosticating rodent, Wiarton Willie, contradicted Sam's prediction of an early spring when he got a clear view of his shadow this morning.
The United States' movie star groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, shared Willie's opinion today in Pennsylvania during the 128-year-old celebration at Gobbler's Knob, as did New York's Staten Island Chuck.
According to his handlers at the Staten Island Zoo, Chuck has an 82 percent accuracy rate.
Shubenacadie Sam not alone, however, as early spring forecasts were delivered by other North American prognosticating critters, including Fred la Marmotte in Val d'Espoir, Quebec; Willow in Winnipeg, Manitoba; and General Beauregard Lee in Lilburn, Georgia.
We'd like to side with Sam and his buddies in this matter, but given the Environment Canada forecast for the coming week, we're not overly confident of his accuracy.
Flurries. Local amount 5 cm. Wind becoming northwest 20 km/h early this afternoon. High minus 10.
A few clouds. Wind northwest 20 km/h becoming light early this evening. Low minus 21.
A mix of sun and cloud with 60 percent chance of flurries. High minus 9.
Cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 15. High minus 9.
A mix of sun and cloud with 40 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 20. High minus 13.
A mix of sun and cloud. Low minus 18. High minus 13.
A mix of sun and cloud. Low minus 18. High minus 11.
Cloudy with 60 percent chance of flurries. Low minus 16. High minus 9.