The seasonal forecast went high-tech Tuesday morning when Alberta’s own Balzac Billy woke up at the Blue Grass Nursery and Garden Center on Groundhog’s Day

The rodent woke from hibernation at 8:13 a.m. at the annual Groundhog’s Day event, predicting more winters for Alberta due to COVID-19 restrictions, the forecast was made live via Facebook and Instagram

The other two North American marmots, Wiarton Willie from Ontario, predicted early spring, while his counterpart and Punxsutawney Phil from Pennsylvania predicted six more weeks of winter

According to the folks at the Blue Grass Nursery and Garden Center, Balzac Billy’s prediction is 86 percent correct

Billy isn’t actually a marmot in Alberta, but still makes the annual forecast for the province

Originally a Richardson ground squirrel, a species common throughout Alberta, Balzac Billy is now a head-high groundhog mascot that was released on Groundhog Day on February 2, every year

Groundhog Day comes from the Dutch superstition of Pennsylvania, it is believed that a marmot emerging from its den on that day sees a shadow due to the clear weather, retreats into its den, and winter continues for six weeks If this is not the case due to the cloudiness, the spring season comes early

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Balzac Billy

World news – CA – Balzac Billy predicts more winter – The Pipestone Flyer