An Arctic blast of frigid air threatening snow and ice south to Houston may have already released its grip on the eastern U.S. by the time the Super Bowl gets under way in East Rutherford, New Jersey, this weekend.
By game time Feb. 2, conditions at MetLife Stadium should be dry with temperatures around 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 Celsius) with a light breeze, according to forecasters.
“Super Bowl weekend may not be that bad; Sunday may be partly cloudy with temperatures near freezing,” said Rob Carolan, owner of Hometown Forecast Services Inc. in Nashua, New Hampshire. “The moderation is going to kick in the second half of this week after being in the single digits and teens.”
While Super Bowls have been played in northern climes during the winter -- Detroit, Minneapolis and Indianapolis -- the game at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, will be the first time it will be held in an open-air stadium in a cold-weather city.
A wave of cold air from Canada that has dropped temperatures to minus 15 in Minneapolis and minus 2 in Chicago is expected to bring readings as low as 9 in Newark and 10 in New York tomorrow night, the National Weather Service said.
The rebound in temperatures will be by Jan. 30.
“No polar vortex is going to be around for this game,” said Henry Margusity, a senior meteorologist at AccuWeather Inc. in State College, Pennsylvania.
Margusity said it may rain or snow in the New York area the night before the game, however, by the time the Seattle Seahawks meet the Denver Broncos on the field, conditions should be dry.
“This is the best possible scenario for the game,” Margusity said. “The weather is what you expect for Feb. 2 and shouldn’t play a major effect in the game. It isn’t going to be raining or snowing.”
The warmest temperature recorded at Newark’s Liberty International Airport for 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 2 was 61 degrees in 1973, according to the New Jersey State Climatologist’s website. The coldest was 13 degrees in 1976 and the average reading is 34.
The cold air sweeping the U.S. is also expected to bring snow and ice to New Orleans and Houston and possibly heavy snow to the coast of North Carolina and South Carolina later this week, Margusity said.
Winter storm watches and warnings stretch from eastern Texas to southeastern Virginia, according to the weather service.
Had the game been played in warmer climates across the U.S. South, even those venues would see moderating weather by this weekend after being struck by a dose of winter storms during the week, Margusity said.
The weather may play havoc with fans traveling to the game, though, as of 11 a.m. New York time, 789 flights across the U.S. had been canceled, with the most occurring at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, said FlightAware, a Houston-based airline tracking service.
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