Groundhog Day 2020: The results are in, but the vote isn't unanimous

Caroline FloydMeteorologist

A lot of hopes are riding on these tiny, furry shoulders.

Historic snowfall. Record-smashing cold. Winter has been in high gear for the first month of 2020 across much of Canada, and that has many Canadians asking an age-old question:

Will spring be here soon?

Groundhog Day 2020 puts the answer to that question in the tiny hands of furry prognosticators across Canada and the U.S. as we turn to everyone's favourite forecasting rodents to find out if we're in for an early taste of spring, or if it will be better to hibernate through the next six weeks.

The holiday is a popular tradition celebrated in North America on February 2. According to folklore, if the groundhog sees its shadow, it will be scared and return to its burrow. That translates to a forecast of six more weeks of winter on the way. Under cloudy skies, the groundhog stays out to visit, suggesting we'll see an early spring.

Not unlike their human counterparts, the marmot meteorologists don't always agree on the forecast, but there does seem to be a distinct leader. Below, we've collected the predictions from many of the continent's prominenent weather woodchucks.


Shubenacadie Sam says: 6 MORE WEEKS

Sam's celebrations were snowed out this year, but the fearless forecaster still made his 2020 prediction via social media.

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Wiarton Willie says: EARLY SPRING

Willie's team initially announced 6 more weeks, but were quickly corrected by the pint-sized prognosticator.

Fred la marmotte says: EARLY SPRING


Image courtesy TVCGR.

Reporting live from Quebec's Gaspe Peninsula, Fred called for a longer winter in 2019.

Punxsutawney Phil says: EARLY SPRING

One of the biggest and most famous celebrations in North America, Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil was #TeamEarlySpring last year, too.



It's not just the natural fur-bearers who weigh in on Canada's chances for an early spring.

Manitoba Merv says: EARLY SPRING

Balzac Billy says: EARLY SPRING

Neither the Manitoba puppet nor the Alberta mascot saw their shadows on the Prairies last year.

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Lucy the Lobster says: 6 MORE WEEKS

Nova's Scotia's Lucy said the "SHELLebration" would go on as scheduled on Sunday, even though her counterpart, Sam, had to bow out this year.

The Weather Network's own long-range legend, Dr. Doug Gillham, will share his take on what the groundhogs have to say -- and his thoughts on the rest of winter -- on Monday, but here's a sneak peek at what he's thinking.