New Jersey's Weather Predicting Groundhog Milltown Mel Dies Days Before Groundhog Day 2022

Milltown Mel's annual Feb. 2 prediction ceremony for Groundhog Day has been canceled following the prognosticating animal's death


New Jersey's beloved weather-predicting groundhog — Milltown Mel — has died. The animal prognosticator passed away on Sunday, days before he was supposed to make his annual Groundhog Day appearance on Feb. 2.

On Sunday, the groundhog's official Facebook page confirmed Milltown Mel's death.

"We Wranglers are sad to report that Milltown Mel recently crossed over the rainbow bridge," the post began.

"Considering the average lifespan of a groundhog is about 3 years, that is not such a shock, but Mel left us at a tough time of year, when most of his fellow groundhogs are hibernating ... so no babies will be available to replace him until this Spring," the post continued.

Milltown Mel
Milltown Mel/Instagram

Because of Milltown Mel's sudden death and the inability to recruit a new groundhog to make Mel's 2022 prediction, Milltown Mel's annual Feb. 2 prediction ceremony has been canceled.

"We will work hard on getting us a new weather prognosticator for next year, till then please check out what all of Mel's cousins have to say on Feb. 2," the death announcement on Milltown Mel's Facebook page concluded.

RELATED VIDEO: Punxsutawney Phil Predicts 6 More Weeks of Winter on Groundhog Day 2021 amid Winter Storm

The tradition of Groundhog Day says that if a prognosticating groundhog sees its shadow on the morning of the holiday, there will be six more weeks of winter, but if the animal doesn't, then spring will arrive early.

Last year, Mel did not see his shadow.

Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil, perhaps the most famous weather-predicting groundhog, is still scheduled to make his prediction on Wednesday, Feb. 2 by 7:20 a.m. EST at Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney, Penn. for the city's 136th Groundhog Day celebration.

Related Articles