While a snowfall warning is in effect on Feb. 3 for Portage la Prairie and area, a stuffed groundhog (let’s take good news where we can get it) predicted Saturday an early spring.
On Groundhog Day Manitoba Merv of Oak Hammock Marsh did not see his shadow therefor predicting an early spring for Manitoba!
Groundhog Day is a popular tradition celebrated in North America on February 2. According to folklore, if the groundhog sees its shadow it will return to its burrow, indicating there will be six more weeks of winter. If it does not, spring will arrive early.
Manitoba Merv has been right about 98 per cent of the time, reports Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre on its website.
Winnipeg Wyn, a real groundhog working the Winnipeg weather folklore circuit, has Merv’s back. Wyn also predicts an early spring.
Other, arguably more famous furry forecasters, were split in their decisions.
Shubenacadie Sam saw his shadow and beat a retreat back to his den to wait out a longer winter, but Wiarton Willie did not see his shadow.
To quote Winston Churchill: “This is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end, but it is the end of the beginning” (of winter)…
Issued at 10:17 a.m. on Feb. 3, a snowfall warning explains a low-pressure system moving through the northern United States is pushing snow into southwestern Manitoba late Sunday morning. The snow will spread across southern Manitoba during the afternoon and evening hours and continue throughout the night. The snow will end from west to east on Monday morning as the low-pressure system moves over the Great Lakes.
General snowfall totals will be 10 to 15 cm with the higher amounts possible near the international border. Some blowing snow is also possible as north winds of 30 gusting 50 km/h are expected.
Snowfall warnings are issued when significant snowfall is expected.