Groundhog Day: Mel contradicts Phil, predicts early spring

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(Facebook) Milltown Mel makes his annual weather prediction on Groundhog Day 2017. (Facebook) Milltown Mel makes his annual weather prediction on Groundhog Day 2017.
MILLTOWN -

Milltown Mel predicted Friday that spring will arrive early in New Jersey, contradicting Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil.

Mel the groundhog did not see his shadow around 7:15 a.m., meaning spring will arrive early. Turtle Back Zoo's Essex Ed also did not see his shadow. However, Punxsutawney Phil did see his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter.

The top hat-wearing members of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle reveal Phil’s forecast every Feb. 2. It is based on a German legend surrounding Candlemas.

MORE: Extended footage from the event

Records dating to 1887 show Phil has now predicted more winter 103 times while forecasting an early spring just 18 times - including last year. There are no records for the remaining years.

This year marked the 10th annual prediction from Milltown Mel. Officials said Mel has been accurate six or seven times in the last nine years. Only time will tell whether Mel or Phil got it right this year.

The Associated Press news wire service contributed to this report.

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