Waiting with (Frosty) Bated Breath for Groundhog Day
With the recent cold snap, the prospect of "Essex Ed" predicting six more weeks of winter on Feb. 2 is especially daunting.
Groundhog Day is on Saturday, Feb. 2 this year, and the recent Arctic temperatures are giving the day a bit more resonance than usual.
Last year, groundhog Essex Ed predicted an early spring at the annual Groundhog Day ceremony at Turtle Back Zoo. (Ed was actually the tie-breaker vote between Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil who predicted six more weeks of winter and Staten Island's Chuck who called for an early spring.)
Check out the video from last year's event, attached to this article.
According to the myth, if a groundhog sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter; if he does not, spring is around the corner.
Ed's track record is pretty solid: he's predicted correctly nine out of the past 10 years.
Last year, Dr. Jeremy Goodman, zoo director at Turtle Back Zoo said, "He's not just a regular groundhog, he's a very special groundhog."
Groundhog Day actually originated in the Roman times according to Tamara Myhal, animal keeper at the zoo. She said a hedgehog was used to predict the weather but when settlers arrived in America, they began using groundhogs because there were no wild hedgehogs.