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Michigan's Official Groundhog Predicts An Early Spring

HOWELL (WWJ) - If Michigan's Official Groundhog's prediction is correct, the Great Lakes State is in for an early spring.

Thursday morning, "Woody" the prognosticating groundhog did not see her shadow at the Howell Nature Center, indicating the early arrival of spring. It was Woody's fourteenth prediction.

"Woody came out of her paper mache stump, looked around and stayed outside. So, that is telling us here in Michigan that we will have an early Spring," said nature center spokesman Dick Grant.

Watch Woody's prediction below:

Groundhogs Day at the Howell Nature Center (2012 HD) by HowellNatureCenter on YouTube

This undoubtedly leaves Michiganders happy, after the famous Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his lair Thursday morning and saw his shadow, in the process predicting six more weeks of winter.

Woody's House
Woody's House (Facebook Photo)

Dana DeBenham, Woody's handler, said she'll pit the predictions of "Michigan's Official Groundhog" against that Phil "rodent" anytime.

"We really do feel that because she's a female groundhog, her predictions are far more accurate. She has been correct nine out of 13 times and Phil is only about 50-50," said DeBenham, who said the rodent can be a bit cranky this time of year.

"She's a little bit of a prima-donna. She gets a little sleepy this time of year. Normally groundhogs would be in full hibernation, but Woody is an environmental educator so she has a job to do all year round," said DeBenham.

What did other groundhogs around the nation predict?

Most agree with Woody and predict and early spring, such as Jimmy the Groundhog in Wisconsin, General Beauregard Lee in Georgia, Buckeye Chuck in Ohio, Wiarton Willie in Ontario, Staten Island Chuck in New York, Stormy Marmot in Colorado and Chuckles in Connecticut.

So far, only one other groundhog is on Phil's side predicting six more weeks of winter, that's Malverne Mel in New York.

"You know, I don't want to say fraud but Punxsutawney Phil supposedly whispers in some guy's ear out in Pennsylvania. Here in Michigan, we use more of a scientific method where Woody decides herself what's going to happen. And Woody made it clear this morning, that here in Michigan we will have an early spring," said Grant.

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