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The Hamilton Spectator
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Tuesday February 2, 2010
North America's furry forecasters are making a frosty prediction.

Thousands of people gathered Tuesday to watch as Punxsutawney Phil emerged to make his yearly Groundhog Day prediction in Punxsutawney, Penn.

"As the sky shines bright above me, my shadow I see beside me, six more weeks of winter it will be," announced his handlers, dampening the hopes of an early spring.

Canada's most famous groundhog, Wiarton Willie, was also spooked by his shadow Tuesday morning.

Six more weeks of winter is great news for snow-starved Vancouver Olympic organizers who have been crossing their fingers for snow, but the rest of Canada may not be as pleased with Sam's prediction.

Environment Canada's forecasters seem to backup the groundhogs' consensus, predicting colder than normal temperatures in the east, but warmer temperatures in the west. Alberta's Balzac Billy's prediction is expected later.

Legend has it that if a groundhog emerging on Groundhog Day does not see its shadow, it will leave the burrow - a symbol that winter will soon end. However, if the groundhog sees its shadow, it will retreat into its burrow, meaning winter will continue for six more weeks. The holiday began in the 18th and 19th centuries, has its origins in ancient European weather lore. Source...

Groundhog Day: Six more weeks of winter
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