TBZ’s great prognosticator sees her shadow, predicts more cold weather

Photo Courtesy of Essex County
Essex Edwina predicts six more weeks of cold winter weather as, from left Turtle Back Zoo animal ambassador keeper John Kleodudis, Turtle Back Zoo Director Jilian Fazio, Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo Jr. and county Commissioner Leonard Luciano look on.

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Essex Edwina, Turtle Back Zoo’s resident groundhog, saw her shadow and is predicting another six weeks of colder weather. Essex Edwina made her prediction during Turtle Back’s annual Groundhog Day celebration on Feb. 2. She took over prognostication duties from her cousin Essex Ed last year. Essex Edwina also predicted the Philadelphia Eagles would defeat the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII.

“I have never really liked the cold weather so I’m not a fan of Essex Edwina’s prediction,” DiVincenzo said. “It may be cold outside, but it’s still a great time to come out and experience Essex, and our wonderful Turtle Back Zoo and South Mountain Recreation Complex. Waiting for Essex Edwina on Groundhog Day creates excitement about Essex County’s Turtle Back Zoo and highlights its role as an educational resource.”

Essex Edwina’s prediction is as follows:

“Good morning, good visitors, I am here once again,

To bestow forecasting wisdom to all of my friends.

Usually till today, I’d be months deep in a nap,

But it’s been hard to sleep deeply, without winter’s cold snap.

Spring daffodils and daisies, there’s much to enjoy,

But low snow this January was just a decoy.

Yes, winter still lingers, behind clouds and strong gusts,

A cold spell is coming and we will all have to adjust.

Another six weeks and then back to more sun,

In the meantime, let’s talk about how football’s almost done.

Giants’ fans, I know, it pains me to say, 

But it’s looking like Eagles will conquer the day.”

This is the second year that Essex Edwina has made midwinter and Super Bowl forecasts. Her predecessor, Essex Ed, had been predicting the midwinter forecast since 1997 and the zoo had various other groundhogs predict before him. New Jersey weather is not always in line with Pennsylvania’s after all, and Ed could easily see his shadow while Punxsutawney Phil does not or vice versa. In the mid-2000s, Essex Ed started adding Super Bowl predictions to his prognostication.