Weatherman Dr. Mel, Founder of WCSU's Weather Center, Dies

Dr. Mel told Patch upon his recent retirement: 'Call me a happy guy ... I’ve got to live a dream.'

UPDATE: This article originally appeared on Patch a few months ago when Dr. Mel Goldstein retired from WTNH. Sadly, the news station where Dr. Mel worked for many years is reporting that Dr. Mel has died this morning. He was 66 years old.

The following is the original article Patch wrote about Dr. Mel. We wanted to repost it because it has a lot of history about the renowned meteorologist. 

When WTNH announced on Tuesday that meteorologist Mel Goldstein had retired from his longtime weather forecasting job at the television station, it was like the second earthquake rumbling through Connecticut that day. And it came just ahead of a hurricane.

Dr. Mel, as most people know him, is one of the most well-known figures in the state, having served as a full-time weatherman for the New Haven television station since 1986 and as a professor at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. He was the person kids turned to every winter morning to check if a snow storm might cancel school.

"I love the weather, and I love communicating with people," he said on Wednesday while relaxing at his shoreline house in East Haven.

Goldstein said he didn’t want to retire, but he had to because of his health. He has been treated for nearly 16 years for multiple myeloma, a form of bone cancer that affects the body’s immune system.

He said the nurses at Connecticut Hospice said his cancer had taken such a toll over the years that continuing to keep up his busy work schedule might kill him.

But on Wednesday he was as cheerful as someone could be who was on pain medication for a serious disease and preparing to board up his house as a precaution against an approaching hurricane.

Mentioning  unleashed a torrent of historical hurricane facts about Connecticut. The last hurricane to hit the state was Bob in 1991, but that was only a glancing blow. Hurricane Gloria in 1985 caused the greatest number of power outages ever. But for a real hurricane, Mel said you had to go back to the storms of 1954 and 1955.

"The 50s was really the decade when we were hit hard," he said.

He confessed he’s been tracking the progress of Hurricane Irene all week. "It’s so typical," he said. "A slight shift could make the difference between a slight rainstorm or a full-blown hurricane."

Even with his own house threatened by a potentially serious storm, Goldstein couldn’t be down beat about anything. "Call me a happy guy," he said. "I’ve got to live a dream."

He said he became an enthusiast about the weather when he was about five years old, and throughout his life he has thought about nothing else.

After becoming a meteorologist, he took a teaching job at Western Connecticut State University and started a bachelor’s degree program and the WestConn Weather Center for trainee weathermen and women.

He has written two books about his specialty — "The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Weather" and "Dr. Mel’s Connecticut Climate Book," which includes the treasure trove of Connecticut weather data he has collected over the years.

"I’ve done everything that I’ve wanted to do," he said.

Well, almost.

Goldstein said he is continuing to raise money for multiple myeloma research and update a personal website as an information resource for people want to know about the disease. And he is working on a book about people who courageously fought against multiple myeloma.

Originally, he was going to call the book "Sketches of Strength," but so many of the people whose stories he featured in it had passed away that he set it aside for several years and turned to the "Connecticut Climate Book" instead.

But lately he has gone back and reworked it with a new title, "Still Standing Tall," focusing on the legacy of those people with the disease. Of course, he will include an autobiographical chapter.

Goldstein said when he was first diagnosed with the disease, doctors gave him three years to live. But more than 15 years later, he is still going strong.

"Here I am, 16 years later, and I’m still around," he said. "The day isn’t over for me."

But the cancer has weakened his bones and made him susceptible to fractures. Pain medication makes him dizzy, which has caused him to fall, breaking several ribs and his pelvis twice.

Finally, he heeded the warning from his hospice nurses and announced his retirement.

"I don’t think I could live very long at the pace I was on, and I don’t think I could function for long at that pace," he said.

Goldstein said it was time for him to step aside and let a younger meteorologist take his place. But no sooner than he retired, and the Connecticut Hospice in Branford contacted him about recording a promotional video.

rgrychak August 27, 2011 at 11:48 AM
Doc please lead us through the last one.
Rocky Vitale August 27, 2011 at 12:30 PM
You may be retired, but you won't be forgotten. Best wishes and prayers.
Ed Rowland August 27, 2011 at 12:34 PM
Good luck in the future Dr. Mel.I've watched and listened to you for many years.best wishes to you and your family.
Kellyanne Koemp August 27, 2011 at 05:04 PM
Dr. Mel, Feel like you are a part of my family! Got to move back to Connecticut in time to watch your forecasts with my kids! We wish you all the best!
donna miller August 27, 2011 at 07:42 PM
Prayers and good wishes to you DR MEL (You may now, be retired, but never forgotten) XOXOXOX
Bruce January 18, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Shame, he had an infectious enthusiasm for his job. Made the worst of weather bearable.
BJ Forlenzo January 18, 2012 at 11:30 PM
Dr. Mel reminded me of my father when bad weather was at hand. They would both be giddy with excitement over hurricanes or huge snowstorms. I'll miss them both!
Steven DeVaux January 19, 2012 at 12:37 AM
Mel, We will all miss you terribly. Thank you for all your tenacity and helping the public focus on the scourge of multiple myeloma.
ray klimasewski January 19, 2012 at 03:15 PM
May Dr. "Mel" R.I.P. My best to his family at this difficult time,... RayK.
kathy johnson January 19, 2012 at 04:20 PM
I hear that snow is coming our way. Most likely a sign that the angels are saluting him. I will miss his passion for the weather and his smile. May his memory be eternal.
Tanya January 19, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Dr.Mel you will be miss but not forgotten.Prayers to the family.
barb January 19, 2012 at 11:48 PM
i always look up to dr mel, i will always remeber him, he was a good man, he is with god now, prayers to his family,


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