Hoping for an early spring? Wiarton Willie's prediction says you're in luck
Ontario's weather forecasting groundhog weighs in on how things may look for the weeks ahead
If you're hoping to pack away your winter coat sooner rather than later, there's good news.
Wiarton Willie, Ontario's weather forecasting rodent, predicted an early spring on Thursday when he didn't see his shadow.
This year's Groundhog Day forecast was officially announced at 8:07 a.m. ET from Wiarton in the South Bruce Peninsula.
Crowds gathered in freezing temperatures to see if the famous Willie would see his shadow — and what that means for the weeks ahead. Wiarton Willie whispers into the mayor's ears to make his report.
Early spring!<br>Early spring!<br>Early spring!—@WiartonWillie
"I think many people are really happy, quite honestly, because it's cold here today," said Danielle Edwards, manager of economic development for the town of South Bruce Peninsula. "Hopefully Willie is correct and we're going to see an early spring."
On Feb. 2 each year, eyes turn to Wiarton Willie to see if he'll see his shadow — meaning six more weeks of winter — or no shadow, predicting an early spring. This year marks 67 years of the tradition.
Wiarton Willie wishes you a happy Friday! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Wiartonwillie?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Wiartonwillie</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/wiartonwilliefestival?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#wiartonwilliefestival</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/HappyFriday?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HappyFriday</a> <a href="https://t.co/O5VX2ZDSFG">pic.twitter.com/O5VX2ZDSFG</a>—@willieofficial
Shubenacadie Sam, Punxsutawney Phil predict long winter
But Willie isn't the only four-legged weather prognosticator.
In Nova Scotia, beloved groundhog Schubenacadie Sam saw his shadow, a prediction of six more weeks of winter.
It’s Official! That’s a confirmed shadow! Get ready for 6 more weeks of winter, don’t put away your hat and mitts yet. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ShubieSam?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ShubieSam</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GroundhogDay2023?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GroundhogDay2023</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LongWinter?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LongWinter</a> <a href="https://t.co/qKEFCTvOWT">pic.twitter.com/qKEFCTvOWT</a>—@ShubenacadieSam
In Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney Phil also saw his shadow, gearing up for a long winter ahead.
Last year, Groundhog Day predictions clashed between Wiarton Willie, which called for an early spring, and Shubenacadie Sam, which called for a long, cold winter.