Shubenacadie Sam predicts early spring, Wiarton Willie says more winter ahead

Groundhog Day brought welcome news for those looking forward to warmer weather.

Under a cloudy sky, Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam didn't see his shadow after scurrying from his shed at a Halifax provincial wildlife park on Tuesday morning.

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According to folklore, this means spring will come early in Nova Scotia.

The famed groundhog was the first among his North American weather-predicting counterparts to emerge from his burrow on Tuesday morning.

In Ontario, however, the province's famed Wiarton Willie is predicting six more weeks of winter after spotting his shadow.

Well, for those hoping for 6 more weeks of've got your wish. I saw my shadow. #officialprediction

— Wiarton Willie (@willieofficial) February 2, 2016

South of the border, Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil also didn't see his shadow, predicting that winter may soon come to an end.

"Early spring take your jackets off, you're not going to need them," one of the event organizers declared in front of a packed crowd. "Get out the Bermuda shorts, nobody needs to go to Florida from Pennsylvania today."

While two groundhogs may have predicted an early end to the winter, some Canadians are still waiting for winter to begin in earnest.

Environment Canada's senior climatologist David Phillips said Tuesday that Toronto has had its second warmest winter on record and the least amount of snowfall.

Meanwhile in Manitoba, Groundhog Day celebrations have been cancelled following the death of Winnipeg Willow, who died last Friday at the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

No Shadow! #GroundhogDay *Sam

— Shubenacadie Sam (@ShubenacadieSam) February 2, 2016


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