Woody the Woodchuck

Woody the Woodchuck (Photo: Sandra McNeill/WWJ - FILE)

Wishful Woody: Michigan Groundhog Predicts Early Spring

February 02, 2019 - 11:45 am

HOWELL (WWJ/AP) - Michigan's own prognosticating rodent again agrees with the famous Punxsutawney Phil. 

Handlers of Woody the Woodchuck, billed as Michigan's official groundhog, say she's predicting an early spring.

Woody emerged from her house Saturday at the Howell Conference and Nature Center and stayed out for at least 30 seconds — a decidedly non-scientific indication that an early spring is on the way.

If she hadn't come out or ran back in before the 30 seconds were up, she'd be forecasting six more weeks of winter. That was the case last year at the nature center in Livingston County's Marion Township.

Woody's 21st Annual Groundhog Day prediction matched that from handlers of Pennsylvania's famed Phil. While they don't always, this is the third year running that the fuzzy forecasters have agreed. 

Regardless of the critters' predictive abilities, it's feeling a bit warmer as a large swath of the northern U.S. emerges from a bitter polar vortex.

It's already heating up a bit in the metro Detroit area, where the Super Bowl Sunday high is expected to hit, or at least creep close to, 50 degrees. Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 for up-to-the-minute weather updates, every 10 minutes on the 8s. >>LISTEN LIVE! 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.