Manitoba Merv – decked out in a facemask – makes his annual winter prediction at Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre on February 2, 2021. (Source: Ken Gabel/ CTV News Winnipeg)

Manitobans hoping for a break from winter may be in luck – the province's famous little groundhog is predicting an early spring.

On Tuesday morning at Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre, Manitoba Merv – decked out in a facemask – made his annual winter prediction.

"He's looking for a shadow – there are no shadows to be seen today, so guess what – we will have an early spring in Manitoba this year," said Jacques Bourgeois who joined Manitoba Merv.

Bourgeois said – based on Merv's expert prediction – the province could be looking at an early spring by mid-March this year.

So far, Merv's predictions line up with Canada's other groundhogs. Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam and Ontario's Wiarton Willie both failed to see their shadows this morning.

According to tradition, if the groundhog emerges from its burrow on Groundhog Day and sees its shadow, there will be another six weeks of winter. If it does not see it, that means an early spring is in store.

"Although we think that Groundhog Day is interesting and it’s fun, today is also World Wetlands Day," Bourgeois said.

"We want to showcase that wetlands are important for people and that is why we celebrate this fabulous day today."

Bourgeois said more info about World Wetlands Day can be found on the Oak Hammock Marsh website.