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If the furry forecaster is to be believed, we're in for an early Spring. Manitoba Merv ambled out of his home at Oak Hammock Marsh near Winnipeg Saturday morning around 8am, and did not see his shadow, which traditionally means an end to winter sooner than usual.

Meanwhile, Merv's cousins across the country didn't all agree with his prognostication.

In Nova Scotia, Shubenacadie Sam saw his shadow this morning, which according to legend, means another six weeks of winter. In Ontario, Wiarton Willie is calling for an early Spring, echoing the prediction of the most famous of all groundhogs Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil.

Casting a figurative shadow over Manitoba Merv's prediction is the fact it's looking very likely Southern Manitoba is in for a substantial snowfall event Sunday into Monday.

"A Colorado like low moving across the U.S. Central Plains will impact our region starting tomorrow," explains CMOS Accredited Weathercaster Chris Sumner. "Based on the expected current track of the low pressure system, we will be on the far northern edge of the system, and areas from the TransCanada Highway south to the International Border are where the most snow will fall."

Sumner adds, right now, it’s looking like 10 to 20 cms of snow is possible by Monday afternoon by the time the system moves off to the east, but stresses those numbers are still fairly uncertain, because the path the storm takes will have a significant impact on which regions see the most snow.

In addition to that, cold, arctic air will begin settling back into Southern Manitoba starting Sunday, with daytime highs for most of next week struggling to reach the -20 to -22 range, and overnight lows once again dipping toward -30. It also appears likely we’ll see a few days where Extreme Cold Warnings may be issued next week.

"So it seems, despite the fact Manitoba Merv predicted an early Spring Saturday morning, the forecast isn’t quite ready to cooperate just yet," adds Sumner with a chuckle.

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