Very cold temperatures are just around the corner for southern Manitoba, but if you happen to believe the forecast of Manitoba's most famous puppet, the cold weather won't last much longer.

Oak Hammock Marsh Interpretive Centre brought out Manitoba Merv early this morning, and the furry puppet reportedly did not see its shadow. According to tradition, when a groundhog does not see its shadow after leaving its den on February 2, it means early spring-like weather.

While Manitoba Merv is just a puppet his prediction this year may not be far off. Zoe Nakata, the Executive Director of Wildlife Haven Rehabilitation Centre in Ile des Chenes, Man., says they've noticed signs in their animals that an early spring may be on the way.

Manitobans will have to battle through at least one more cold snap, with temperatures plummeting this weekend. Daytime highs around -25 and overnight lows below -30 are expected.

It's been a fairly mild winter as far as Manitoba winters go, so two cold streaks in total wouldn't be so bad.

No matter what groundhogs or puppets say, however, spring doesn't officially arrive until 4:20 a.m. on March 20.

Manitoba Merv is the only groundhog in the province to make predictions once again after Winnipeg Wyn passed away in August 2020.