Wiarton Willie Predicts Early Spring…Punxsutawney Phil Says 6 More Weeks Of Winter. So Which Is It?

Punxsutawney Phil Says 6 More Weeks Of Winter

Photo: CBS News

The verdict is in: there will NOT be 6 more weeks of winter…according to Wairton Willie in Wiarton, Bruce Country, Ontario, that is. And Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam.

If you ask Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania, however, he says that we will have to endure 6 more weeks of dreary winter weather.

So which is it? I think all of us would gladly side with Willie, but meteorologists are agreeing with Phil:

“As far as a significant warmup goes across the Northeast, I think you have to hold off ’til late April or early May,” Paul Pastelok from AccuWeather said.

Cold air and snow will persist in the North, Northeast and Midwest, while the East Coast will see more rain than snow.

We can all agree that this sucks with a collective “Ugh.”

But who knows, maybe the mystical will prevail and we will get to enjoy warmer weather sooner.

On that note, ever wonder what the story is behind Groundhog Day?

Legend has it that a groundhog’s behaviour can predict the weather. A sunny day that allows the groundhog to see his shadow and send him scurrying back into his burrow means there will be 6 more weeks of winter. A cloudy day, on the other hand, is considered a sign of spring encouraging the groundhog to stay above ground.

This folklore dates way back to early German settlers in Pennsylvania and has religious roots. They held a tradition on Feb. 2, called Candlemas Day, which marked Christ’s presentation at the temple, that if the sun shone then the snow would be gone by May. Groundhogs ran rampant in the area, so the settlers adopted them as harbingers of the tale.

Pennsylvania’s (and all of the U.S.’s) most famous—and allegedly only—groundhog is Punxsutawney Phil. The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club says that Pennsylvania held it’s first Groundhog Day in 1887, and maintains that Phil is the one and only groundhog they’ve ever had…riiight. I’d like some of that “groundhog juice” they credit Phil’s longevity with.

Groundhog Day first came to be popular in Canada in 1956 when Wiarton Willie began making his weather predictions. The festival has become one of the largest winter festivals in Bruce County.


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