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Super Bowl XLVIII Weather: A honest look

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You can’t turn on any sports channel without the commentators going on and on about the outdoor Super Bowl in a cold weather city. It’s getting really annoying because guess what? It’s not moving and you can’t control the weather. So why keep harping on it? Then don’t get me started on people trying to forecast the Super Bowl weather 2 months out. You are more likely to pick the correct team and score of the game right now than forecast the weather precisely this far in advance. Check back with me 2 weeks out, but better how about 7 days out?

What we can do though is look at the history of weather for that date over time and draw some probabilities of what the weather might be like, based on historically data. What if I told you that on 80% of all February 2nd’s there was no measurable snow in New York? Let me show you why.

So I went back and looked at the data from the New York Central Park weather station on what the weather has been like on every February 2nd since records started there. Which was in 1871 or 141 years of records. 12-12-2013 11-16-29 AM

You can quickly get some good information about what type of weather is typical for this date over the course of history.

Here are the averages:

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So a reasonably person would expect temperatures and snowfall to be something close to this on average. Lets though dig a bit deeper into the numbers.

Warmest Feb 2nd’s on record: (Highs)

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You can see the top 25 warmest high temperatures for this dates above. As recently as 2009 it was 53° on Feb 2nd.

The Coldest Feb 2nd’s on record: (Highs)

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Brrrrrrrrr……coldest high for this date is 16°! In fact just this last Feb. 2nd it was only 29° for a high with 0.10” of snow.

How about snow?:

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Most snow ever was just a mere 4.3”.

So what about the percentages of certain types of weather? Below is a great table of the summary of all of the Feb. 2nd’s on record. I highlighted the averages then the percent of years for certain criteria on the right.

Highlights:

  • 60% of all Feb. 2nd’s had a high temperature between 32°-50° only 27% of the time was it below 32°.
  • Only 3% of all days had snowfall more than 3” which means that 97% of the days had less than 3”. Even more astounding only 20% of all Feb. 2nd’s on record had measurable snow. That means 80% of the time on record there has been a trace or ZERO snow on Feb. 2nd. 80%!!!!!
  • Snow on the ground average is about 1.6” which is important as Super Bowl Week is more than just one day. More likely to se some snow that week of the game than on game day itself.

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Conclusion:

Historically speaking February 2nd has not been a very snowy day in the NY/NJ area. It is more likely that some winter weather will impact the “week” of the Super Bowl than the game itself. I would count on it being cold more than snowy. We should never let the weather overshadow the game and in my opinion severe weather in the late summer and fall are a much bigger threat to NFL games than cold and snow will ever be.  There should be no crying in Football especially about the weather! :-)

Additional Climate information for the New York/ New Jersey area.

Newark Based Data:

Other Sporting Events from @SERCC