Six more weeks of winter, groundhogs say
Like the movie of the same name, this Groundhog Day has seen the same sad message repeat itself: we're in for six more weeks of winter.
The three groundhogs that North Americans turn to in hopes of hearing of an early spring have all emerged from their dens to see their shadows - meaning the winter weather will be sticking around.
The first one out with his prediction was Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam, who emerged, along with his shadow, from his den at 8 a.m. local time.
A town crier and the sound of bagpipes lured Sam out of his home at Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, which is about an hour north of Halifax.
Not long after, central Ontario's Wiarton Willie emerged from his den to an adoring crowd of about 200 people. He, too, saw his shadow.
Willie had not seen his shadow in the last four years and he's only seen it seven times in 20 years.
Meanwhile, Willie and Sam's American counterpart, Punxsutawney Phil, also predicted six more weeks of winter after emerging from his Pennsylvania home.
Phil's forecast came in front of thousands of onlookers at Gobbler's Knob, which is about 100 kilometres north of Pittsburgh.
According to German tradition, if a hibernating animal casts its shadow on Feb. 2, winter will last six more weeks. If there is no shadow, spring is supposed to come early, which would have been welcome to many Canadians.
Many parts of Canada have posted record or near-record snowfalls with seven more weeks officially left of winter.
With files from The Canadian Press