Michigan’s Woody the Woodchuck making forecast about spring

Posted at 5:59 AM, Feb 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-02 05:59:57-05

MARION TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Woody the Woodchuck, billed as the state’s official groundhog, returns to action at the Howell Conference and Nature Center on Groundhog Day.

An event is planned Tuesday in Livingston County’s Marion Township.

Last year, Woody was recovering from a respiratory infection and sat out the annual event as another groundhog made the not-so-scientific forecast for how long winter might last.

Woody’s handlers say if she emerges from her house and stays out for 30 seconds or longer, she is indicating an early spring; if she doesn’t come out or runs back into her house before the 30 seconds are up, she is forecasting six more weeks of winter.

Woody’s prediction is made on the same day as Groundhog Day’s most famous and furry prognosticator: Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil.