Groundhog Day 2022: Milltown Mel, furry forecaster from New Jersey, dies before big day

MILLTOWN, N.J. — A New Jersey town’s prognosticating groundhog has died ahead of his big day.

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According to and, Milltown Mel, the star of Milltown’s annual Groundhog Day ceremony, “recently crossed over the rainbow bridge,” his handlers announced Sunday on social media.

“Considering the average life span of a groundhog is about three 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 Milltown Wranglers wrote in a Facebook post.

Although the group was unable to find a stand-in for this year’s holiday, the Wranglers urged fans of the meteorological marvel to “please check out what all of Mel’s cousins have to say on Feb. 2.”

We Wranglers are sad to report that Milltown Mel recently crossed over the rainbow bridge. Considering the average...

Posted by Milltown Mel on Sunday, January 30, 2022

Wednesday would have marked the seventh weather prediction for the most recent Mel, who inherited the name and forecasting gig when his predecessor died in August 2015, the news outlets reported. During his tenure, he saw his shadow twice and predicted four early springs, according to

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