Lifestyle Pets 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 By Tristan Balagtas Tristan Balagtas Digital News Writer, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 1, 2022 04:38 PM Share Tweet Pin Email 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. Grumpy Groundhog Bites Wisconsin Mayor's EarGrumpy Groundhog Bites Wisconsin Mayor's Ear 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. 'Phil and His Inner Circle' Will Carry On with Virtual Groundhog Day Festivities Despite Weather 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.