Asked to comment on the split decision coming from a group of grumpy groundhogs on Feb. 2, at least one Environment Canada meteorologist had a more sensible question:
Forget spring, he said. When is winter going to arrive?
Thus far, Sarnians have been spared the cold and snow accumulations of a typical southern Ontario winter.
Snow shovels have seen little action, dust is settling on piles of cross-country skis and this weekend's annual ice fishing derby on Sarnia Bay has been cancelled for lack of ice.
December featured green grass and flowering dandelions. Lawnmowers were heard in a few neighbourhoods, and some picked herbs from the garden for their Christmas feast.
The St. Clair River and Lake Huron are still largely ice-free and freighters continue to pass beneath the Blue Water Bridge, carrying road salt to communities that don’t really need it.
Then, last week, in what should have been the dead of winter, the temperature soared to coat-shedding heights. In Sarnia, where it officially hit 14.8 C. and was higher in some places, golfers took to the links and the adventurous headed to Canatara beach to sit in the sun and walk on unfrozen sand.
The forecast is calling for a return of colder temps this week. But whatever happens from here on out the winter of 2015-16 has already been one for the record books.