Woody the Woodchuck predicts spring will come early this year for Michigan

Move over Phil, Woody has something to say. 

Or, rather, predict. While the groundhog of Punxsutawney said there would be six more weeks of winter, the resident woodchuck at the Howell Nature Center had other ideas: spring is coming early.

Woody the Woodchuck, in her 25th prediction since the tradition began, in front of a live audience crept out of her adorable hut Thursday morning, gave the ground a few sniffs before venturing out a little further. 

A silent cheer from the crowd rang out.

Had Woody gone back inside before the 15-second time limit ended, then it would have been six weeks more winter. But not this year.

The original tradition has a bizarre backstory. Every year since 1887, crowds have gathered at Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Philadelphia to watch if the groundhog would emerge from his burrow. If he sees his shadow, then its six more weeks of winter. 

Groundhog Day 2023: Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow, predicts 6 more weeks of winter

At the Howell Nature Center, Woody the Woodchuck is considered to have seen her shadow if she gets scared and returns to her hut.