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The prognosticating rodents have delivered a mixed bag of predictions across Canada.

Groundhog Day a mixed bag for Canadians

Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Sunday, February 2, 2014, 6:36 PM -

Groundhog Day is here, and winter-weary Canadians were keeping a close eye on what our country's best-known rodent prognosticators would say about the coming weeks.

Would they declare an early spring? Or would they usher in another six weeks of a winter that has most people fed up as it is.

We had reporters on the ground in Shubenacadie, NS, Wiarton, Ont., and Balzac, Alta, to see what their most famous residents said.

Shubenacadie Sam

North America's earliest-rising groundhog roused himself long enough to deliver happy news.

With that, he gave people in Atlantic Canada reason to be hopeful, after a winter that has seen storm after storm hitting the region, with this weekend being no different, and another on the way next week.

The Weather Network's Nathan Coleman was on hand for a first-hand look at the moment Sam emerged from his home.

We'll have to see how accurate Nova Scotia's wise prognosticator will be in the weeks to come.

Wiarton Willie

But in Wiarton, Ontario, raised hopes were quickly dashed before the festive crowd.

Still, with or without an early spring, the festival continued, apparently including live alligators brought by a Florida tourism company (which probably one or two people in the audience felt should have met Willie without the groundhog being safely behind glass).

The newly re-predicted winter will have some bit later this week. After a snowy weekend, Weather Network forecasters expect another storm mid-week.

Still, not everybody was disappointed with Willie.

Balzac Billy

Meanwhile in Alberta, which has had its share of deep freeze this winter, Balzac Billy had a bit of good news.

Seems to be plenty of that going around out west. Manitoba Merv, that province's lesser known, unofficial groundhog, seemed to agree with Balzac Billy.

Back in Ontario, The Weather Network's Arda Ocal, covering Ottawa's Winterlude festival this weekend, dissented, conducting a few totally scientific experiments in amateur prognostication and concluding that an early spring is indeed in the cards.

And whether you're deliriously hopeful or bitterly disappointed, you might have to change your tune anyway, at least according to meteorologists at The Weather Network.

MORE WEIRD WINTER RITUALS: We take a look at nine strange rites around the world to either celebrate winter or bid it good riddance.

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