Sir Walter Wally, Raleigh's resident groundhog weather forecaster, saw his shadow shortly after noon today, predicting six more weeks of winter.
Meanwhile, Mortimer, Wally's counterpart in Garner, predicted an early spring. The two rodents disagreed last year, too.
In a ceremony outside the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh, Wally agreed with the granddaddy of groundhogs, Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil, that winter would hang around a while longer.
What exactly that means on a winter day when temperatures threatened to reach 70 degrees is not clear.
Before a large crowd, Wally whispered his prediction to Raleigh mayor Nancy McFarlane, who said it was a mixed message. The bad news was more winter, McFarlane told the crowd.
"The good news is, he says this is winter," she said, under a sunny sky.
At Garner's White Deer Park, Mortimer confided his thoughts about the weather to mayor Ronnie Williams. Unlike Wally and Phil, Mortimer's forecasting involves more than his shadow.
"You may need to get out your shorts and sunscreen, because Mortimer thinks we're going to have an early spring," Williams said.
The tradition of watching the groundhog for signs of spring is thought to have been brought to American in the Mid-18th century by German immigrants in Pennsylvania. They chose Feb. 2, the Christian holiday of Candlemas.