Jane McManus | ESPNNewYork.com
NEW YORK — With less than a week to go before the Super Bowl, the forecast is starting to shape up.
AccuWeather now predicts a high of 36 degrees for Sunday with possible snow showers. There is a possibility that it will be a milder day and that precipitation turns to rain, but it doesn’t look as though a Super Bowl blizzard will materialize.
Jeff Smith, a meteorologist at WABC-TV, said that seven days out is about the first glimpse at an accurate forecast, but it’s only an estimate until 96 hours (four days) before.
“We’re pretty confident that temperatures will be close to normal, the 30s, by the time the weekend rolls around,” Smith said.
If this forecast bears out, after all the drama, the NFL will arrive at a Super Bowl Sunday in New Jersey that feels like an average winter day.
Like a lot of fans, Broncos coach John Fox isn’t sweating the cold.
“I think in order to be a championship football team we’ve got to be weatherproof,” Fox said, “and I think our football team played in all different elements this year. I feel comfortable with where we’re at as far as the elements, but it’s a part of the game. I think traditionwise, it’s been a part of the league and a part of a lot of championships.”
The first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather climate should be the coldest weather ever for the 6:30 p.m. kickoff, with the record being 39 degrees set at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans on Jan. 16, 1972.
Fans in the area may be starting to get forecast fatigue, with all the speculation about the weather piled on top of an already snowy and cold winter. But weather is inextricably part of this historic game.
In the unlikely event that a lot more snow, ice or extreme cold gets added to the forecast, the NFL would need 72 hours’ notice to move the game to Saturday or Monday, which is the backup plan. The league could also move the time of the game and would need to decide 48 hours ahead to prepare.
In the meantime, Tuesday and Wednesday will be extremely cold, but by the time fans have to climb into their seats at MetLife Stadium, it shouldn’t be unbearable. The NFL has created welcome bags for each ticket holder that include a seat cushion, texting gloves and a neck gaiter, among other warming items.