Weather 'forecasting'

No shadow for Shubie Sam this Groundhog Day

Famous Nova Scotia groundhog makes his 2016 weather prediction

This story contains a correction

Shubenacadie Sam poses next to his hutch.
Shubenacadie Sam didn’t see his shadow which means spring is on its way… Hopefully.   Linea Volkering

Shubenacadie Sam the famous weather-savvy groundhog has predicted an early spring.

This morning, crowds gathered around Sam’s wooden pen at Shubenacadie Provincial Wildlife Park to see what could be in store for the next six weeks of weather. The groundhog, greeted by Minister of Natural Resources Lloyd Hines and the East Hants Town Crier, leapt from his hutch and boldly made several laps around the enclosure.

Crowds gather around wooden groundhog enclosure.Groundhog fans bring their own puppet to the celebration.Children in facepaint patiently waited to see the groundhog.Bagpipes and the Halifax Town Crier lead the procession to the groundhog pen.Park staff surround pen with nets to ensure no groundhog escapesMinister Lloyd Hines prepares to greet Shubenacadie Sam.Shubenacadie Sam makes a few laps around the pen to greet friends.Shubenacadie Sam stops at the feet of Minister Lloyd Hines.Shubenacadie Sam: Behind the scenes.Sam enjoys some yoghurt after a busy morning.Sam isn't the most graceful of eaters.

Groundhog Day is a North-American tradition celebrated annually on Feb. 2. The tradition is based on folklore. The tale says that if a groundhog comes out from its den and sees its shadow, it will run back inside resulting in six more weeks of winter. If it remains outside, spring is on its way.

Shubenacadie Sam is the first groundhog to predict the weather for the 2016 season.

Correction: Feb. 3, 2016: An earlier version of this article misstated that the Halifax Town Crier greeted the groundhog when it was the Municipality of East Hants Town Crier, Anita Benedict.