Groundhog Day 2016: conflicting predictions in Canada

Canada's two surviving Groundhog Day weather-predicting rodents have conflicting views on how soon spring will come. Their furry American counterpart has cast the tiebreaker.

Shubenacadie Sam and Wiarton Willie disagree on spring's arrival

Wiarton Willie looks skyward in order to give us his prognostication on Tuesday morning, Feb. 2, 2016. (Frank Gunn/Canadian Press)

Two of Canada's famed four-legged forecasters have made clashing weather predictions.

Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam is calling for an early spring while Ontario's Wiarton Willie expects six more weeks of winter.

According to tradition, if the groundhog doesn't see its shadow when it emerges from its burrow on Groundhog Day, an early spring is in store.

It was two against one on Tuesday, as Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil, arguably the best-known weather predicting woodchuck, also predicted an early end to winter.

This year's Groundhog Day festivities have already been marred by the death of Canada's westerly prognosticator, Winnipeg Willow.

Groundhog Day celebrations have been cancelled in Manitoba out of respect for Willow, who died last Friday at the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.