Groundhog Day: Manitoba rodents make their weather predictions
WINNIPEG -- According to tradition, if a groundhog doesn't see its shadow on Feb. 2, warmer temperatures are on the way. If it sees its shadow, the rodent will retreat into its burrow and six more weeks of winter weather will occur.
Here's what the province's furry weather experts predicted:
Up at the crack dawn, Wynn didn't see her shadow at the Praire Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
According to a Facebook post from the centre, it actually based its desicion on the groundhog's behavior over the last few days rather than just her shadow.
Manitoba Merv, the resident groundhog mascot at Oak Hammock Marsh Conservation Centre, also made his yearly prediction.
The furry rodent puppet didn't see his shadow, meaning Winnipeg is in store for an early spring.
The biggest challenge for Manitobans trying to make the prediction, is finding a groundhog.
"We don't have many groundhogs and many of them are in hibernation," said Jacques Bourgeois, the communication coordinator at Oak Hammock Marsh Conservation Centre.
The marsh may have marmots and rabbits running around this time of year, but no groundhogs other than the Manitoba Merv puppet.
"One of the reason we celebrate Groundhog Day at Oak Hammock Marsh is because it is also a really important day for wetlands, it's World Wetlands Day.
World Wetlands Day was started in 1971 and marks the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands, signed on February 2, 1971.
Bourgeois said wetlands are very important, providing a habitat for countless species, acting as flood mitigation and as a carbon sink.
According to Bourgeois, hosting Groundhog Day is a good way to promote activities at the marsh.
"By having them come to the marsh they explore the marsh and see what can be done in wetlands, they can go canoeing, snowshoeing, there's many things to do in wetlands," said Bourgeois.
As for the validity of the groundhogs' prediction, Environment Canada is calling for normal Manitoban temperatures over the next few weeks.