It’s “Groundhog Day” and the most famous of the meteorological marmots “Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather Prophet Extraordinary” (yep…that is his full name) crawled out of his burrow in Gobbler’s Knob, Pennsylvania with fanfare and pageantry that dates back to February 2, 1887.
Back in the day the publisher of the local paper in Punxsutawney began promoting the town’s groundhog as the “Groundhog Day meteorologist”
In Canada, not to be outdone, the town of Wiarton, Ontario, situated on the shores of Georgian Bay on the Bruce Peninsula, have relied on the predictions of Wiarton Willie since 1955. This year the albino groundhog says spring won’t be here soon.
Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam is always the first prognosticating groundhog to be ready for the big day each year and living on the eastern shores of Canada he is always the first to make the prediction.
Closer to home we tend to rely on the local forecast prediction from our own Manitoba Merv. Although Merv cant actually see his shadow… ever! (since he is a puppet) he is pretty good at predicting that spring will arrive in Manitoba at some point in the year. According to officials at Oak Hammock Marsh Merv has only been wrong once in the past 24 years. This year Merv did not see his shadow.
According to tradition if a groundhog emerges from their lair and sees their shadow then six more weeks of winter are in store. If, however, the rodent does not see it’s shadow then an early spring is at hand.
Here is the rundown of how the furry creatures see the coming of spring in 2018:
No matter the outcome Spring is on the horizon and if past years are a good indicator it’s only a matter of weeks before we see the Festival du Voyager thaw!
Spring Equinox 2018 in the Northern Hemisphere will be at 11:15 am central time on Tuesday, March 20 (just saying!)
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