Wiarton Willie doesn't see his shadow, predicts an early spring

Wiarton Willie

Wiarton Willie

Wiarton Willie, one of Canada's most trusted groundhogs, did not see his shadow Saturday morning in Wiarton, Ontario.

Folklore has it that if a groundhog sees its shadow on February 2, it will retreat into its burrow, heralding six more weeks of cold weather - not that bad by most Canadian standards.

But in Ontario, Wiarton Willie did not see his shadow, declaring an early spring, the same as Punxsutawney Phil did in Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile bad news for winter-weary Canadians in Atlantic Canada, it looks like we'll have at least another six weeks of winter according to Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam. With Premier Doug Ford on hand, Willie predicted an early spring.

Pope Francis in Abu Dhabi for Interfaith Conference
Shortly afterwards Francis departed for Abu Dhabi , where he will be a guest of Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan. One told AFP news agency the Pope's visit "opens doors for conversations about tolerance that the whole world needs to hear".

To the roars of a capacity, but chilly crowd outside the Wiarton arena, Wiarton Willie awoke from his winter slumber and did not see his shadow Saturday. "People love it or hate it with winter".

Before a throng of kids at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park-and after some enticing to come out of his warm burrow pen to the -12 degrees outside-Sam came out and quickly wanted to go back in to his pen.

Although Groundhog Day draws a fair bit of attention every year, weather experts of the human variety say the tradition doesn't have a very good track record in terms of accuracy.

"I think it's just because it's something fun in the dead of winter", she said. "It's just a chance to have some fun", said Cox on the hit-and-miss nature of Groundhog Day.

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