February 2, 2018 11:38 am
Updated: February 2, 2018 12:46 pm

Alberta’s Groundhog Day 2018: Balzac Billy predicts an early spring

WATCH ABOVE: Alberta's Balzac Billy made his seasonal prediction at the annual Groundhog Day breakfast at Blue Grass Nursery and Garden Centre Friday morning. The “groundhog” awoke from hibernation south of Airdrie at around 8:13 a.m. and did not see his shadow, which means Albertans will have an early spring.

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People across North America are finding out how much longer they’ll be dealing with winter. Alberta’s Balzac Billy made his seasonal prediction at the annual Groundhog Day breakfast at Blue Grass Nursery and Garden Centre Friday morning.

The “groundhog” awoke from hibernation south of Airdrie at around 8:13 a.m. and did not see his shadow, which means Albertans will have an early spring.

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Billy made his way out of his burrow, stretched, looked around and saw no shadow as the crowd erupted in cheers.

READ MORE: How soon is spring? Canadian groundhogs make annual predictions

Folklore has it that if the groundhog sees its shadow when it emerges from its burrow on Groundhog Day, there will be six more weeks of winter. If the groundhog doesn’t see its shadow, then tradition says spring is on the way.

Balzac Billy is actually a Richardson Ground Squirrel, a common species in Alberta.

READ MORE: Global Calgary forecasters helped create Balzac Billy for Groundhog Day

Billy’s prediction differed from across the country and down south.

It looks like Ontario is in for a long winter. Wiarton Willie, the groundhog whose shadow gives the province a look into the future, saw his shadow meaning Ontario could have to deal with six more weeks of winter.

In Pennsylvania, Punxsutawney Phil predicting six more weeks of winter.

Last year, the prairie prognosticator saw his shadow and predicted six more weeks of winter.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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