The numbers are in! Our furry forecasters have predicted whether this winter will come to an early end, or whether we will have to suffer through another month and a half of wintery weather. Unfortunately this year, 2 out of 3 groundhogs saw their shadows, which means that we can anticipate a long winter.
In Nova Scotia, Shubenacadie Sam was the first to emerge from his den and much to our dismay he saw his shadow just after 8 a.m. on Monday. According to tradition, if the groundhog sees its shadow winter will last for another 6 weeks and if no shadow appears winter will soon be coming to an end.
Punxsutawney Phil over in Pennsylvania agreed with his fellow groundhog forecaster and also predicted a long winter. Wiarton Willie from Wiarton Ont. disagreed with his elders when he failed to see his shadow on Monday. He predicts an early spring but some are skeptical since he was working under heavy clouds and blowing snow, according to Environment Canada.
Only Wiarton Willie was correct last year when he saw a long winter after spotting his shadow, while Shubenacadie Sam’s prediction of an early spring never came to pass. Last year Canada saw a long vicious winter caused by a polar vortex.
Environment Canada has also added its figures to this year’s prediction and has said that Canadians can expect this February to be colder than usual.
Why are forecasting groundhogs male?
According to National Geographic, the reasoning behind male groundhogs peeking out of their burrows around this time of year may not be weather related at all. While many groundhogs do come out on Groundhog Day, they aren’t looking for their shadows.
This is the time of the year when male groundhogs come outside to take a peek for females. They are starting to get prepared for the mating season. While we may believe that they are predicting our winter, it appears that weather is the last thing on our furry friends’ minds! The good news is that we are into February, which means that winter officially ends next month according to the calendar whether the groundhogs agree or not.