All eyes on Wiarton Willie, Shubenacadie Sam and Winnipeg Willow -

All eyes on Wiarton Willie, Shubenacadie Sam and Winnipeg Willow


WIARTON, Ont. – Canada’s prognosticating rodents are split on whether the country is in for an early spring or six more weeks of winter.

Wiarton Willie, Canada’s most celebrated of all its furry forecasters, is predicting an early spring, siding with Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil — generally regarded as the groundhog of record.

Manitoba’s lesser known woodchuck, Winnipeg Willow, also failed to see her shadow when she emerged Saturday morning, meaning she believes spring is around the corner.

But Nova Scotia’s Shubenacadie Sam and Quebec’s Fred are calling for more cold weather.

Folklore has it that if a groundhog sees its shadow on Groundhog Day it’ll flee back to its burrow, heralding six more weeks of winter, and if it doesn’t, it means spring’s just around the corner.

Hundreds bundled up early Saturday to watch Willie emerge, many slipping on woodchuck masks or toting figurines of the famous rodent.

Willie’s prognostication is the marquee moment of a three-day festival in his honour.

Kristin Otten, who was crowned the festival’s queen, said she was a bit disappointed with the groundhog’s call.

“I’m kind of sad about that because I really love the snow. But we’ll see what happens,” she said.

Others suggested the forecast isn’t as important as the celebration itself.

“We only get to do this once a year,” said Jerzy Bohatkiewicz, who has gone to the annual event for the last eight years.

“There’s a reason for us to be here, to get out of bed at five in the morning, so we can find each other amongst this crowd here, find a little corner where we can all laugh and cheer and have fun —no matter what.”

Shubenacadie Sam was the first out of his burrow to make his prediction to a worldwide audience via webcam.

Fred was next with his forecast in Val d’Espoir, a community in the Gaspesie region.

Willie weighed in just after 8 a.m. Eastern time, followed by Willow roughly an hour later.

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All eyes on Wiarton Willie, Shubenacadie Sam and Winnipeg Willow

  1. Amazing in this day and age that so many people would actually believe a rodent, but not science.

    • You’re assuming that science can actually predict these things. All you have to do is look at “climate change” and meteorology to see how poor science is as a predictor. It’s good at observing…but fairly terrible at predicting.

      • Yes, science can.

        If you’d actually looked at climate change instead of believing slogans, you’d know that.

        • So which sets of data are you wanting to use? The IPCC “hockey stick” which has already been proven incorrect by the same IPCC? Or the “new” data which is already wrong based on the current climate data from NOAA which is showing that we are in a downturn cycle of temperatures?

          Cause I can find data to support any theory I want to put forward…but science has yet to accurately predict tomorrow’s weather let alone what will happen 10 years from now. Unless your model has an accuracy of 20% or less.

          • Both the Pentagon and NASA plus 99% of the qualified scientists in the world agree on climate change.

            So if you want to be an ignorant ass in public….be my guess

          • Wait…one of your primary sources of scientific data is the Pentagon? REALLY?!? And NASA believes that the SUN has the most effect on the climate. Just ask their heliologists. And NASA has yet to make a definitive study of climate science, because they are too busy going to MARS and outerspace.

            I’ll just leave you to your three ring circus. LOL….pentagon

          • Please…just stop. The IPCC cannot conclusively say what is going on and NOAA can’t predict what will happen next week, meteorologically, with anything better than a “our best guess”. The two leading climate organizations in the world don’t know. But you and your “99%” do.
            You folks will believe anything you’re told.

            I’m guessing you also believe that the period from 300-1000AD was also a time of massive illiteracy and no intellectual development, too.
            Pro-Tip: If you believe that, you seriously need to read some primary source material and stop listening to the media.

          • EVERYONE has said what’s going on…the IPCC, NOAA, NASA, the Pentagon, Nobel scientists, every science academy in the world, and all the climatologists.

            Wake up, idiot.

          • Everyone? So you interviewed everyone and they corroborate what you are saying? Or did you read the “synopsis” on CNN or MSNBC?

            The Nobel Prize lost all credibility when it gave its award to Al Gore and then Obama for doing, literally, nothing.

            Because if you had a leg to stand on, you would have been citing me all kinds of journal citations and not giving the ubiquitous “everyone”, which any educated person knows that it means you get your knowledge from the media and not from any personal reading or study of your own.

            The IPCC has already claimed that its previous study was inaccurate and NOAA has already come down hard on the current study from the IPCC because it used 40 “select” sites for its data set.

            But you would have known that if you actually read the journal articles and not CNN.

          • Everyone. Yes.

            As has been known for years.

            Wake up idiot.

          • Youtube and the Guardian are your sources? Amazing. Please read a periodical.

          • No, all the scientific papers for years are my source.

            But I’m guessing youtube is your choice for knowledge.

            Wake up, idiot.

          • You so realize that you cited youtube and The Guardian for your sources about nasa and…lol…the pentagon.

            You are an amazing rhetorist. You have convinced me that the rodents know more about science than you do.

          • Focus dude.

            I’m a Canadian. I don’t watch American TV networks.

            The NASA vid….is from NASA

            The Pentagon is quoted everywhere….you seem to have lots of free time on your hands….check it out.

            Wake up, idiot.

          • You apparently don’t have enough time to read scientific data from scientists not named The Guardian and The Pentagon.

            But I’m probably keeping you from your National Enquirer reading…I’ll let you be.

            Not even sure what being Canadian has to do with anything as I am Canadian, as well…but I am smart enough to know that Global TV and CTV show American programming…and that CNN and MSNBC are on every Canadian cable package.

            But I’m sure you’re going to regale me with some more inane and useless info from Rick Mercer or Michael Ignatieff.