With Super Bowl XLVIII held at the outdoor MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., there's the potential for some game-time snow. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
With Super Bowl XLVIII playing out at the outdoor MetLIfe Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., this year's game has the greatest potential to be impacted by extreme cold and snowfall in history.
"We think there will be a chance to get storms around the East Coast in early February," said AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist and member of the Long-Range Forecast Team Bob Smerbeck.
Smerbeck said that there are indications that a stormy pattern, similar to what the East has been experiencing in mid-December, could develop in time for the Super Bowl.
Moisture coming up from the southwest will likely combine with cold northern air to bring systems with snow that changes to ice, then rain. The only difference between the current pattern and what is expected by early in February is that storms may organize close to the East Coast.
The AccuWeather Long-Range Team is expecting temperatures to rise for a time in January, but they will drop back to lower temperatures around the time the Big Game is slated to play.
A snowstorm would not be unusual for the New York and New Jersey early at that time of year, according to AccuWeather.com Expert Senior Meteorologist Bernie Rayno.
"They are taking a calculated risk having the Super Bowl [at MetLife Stadium]," Rayno said. "A risk because if this area is going to get a big storm, that's the time of year it will happen. Calculated because they only really need one day."
Over the past 10 years, temperatures for the date have varied from the highs in the low 50s to lows in the teens. Temperatures around 6:30 p.m., when kickoff will take place, have ranged from the lower 20s to mid-40s.
With the average high for the area on Feb. 2 at 40 degrees, and the average low is 24, a stormy system could easily drop snow. On average, the area receives 2.2 inches of snow during the first week of February.
It is important to note that long-range forecasts are not intended to give an exact forecast so far ahead of time. However, they can give an accurate representation of the kind of weather pattern that will play out. The trend for this year's winter is based on a number of factors, including the potential for a split jet stream.
An active subtropical jet stream, which carries warm, moist air, may help to create disturbances in the Gulf of Mexico, which would sweep up toward the East Coast and combine with the cold, dry air of the Arctic jet to create the stormy pattern.
When these two jet streams meet, it is a "breeding ground for nor'easters," Rayno said.
"The timing needs to be just right," Rayno said. "But if the timing is going to be right, this is the time of year it will happen for them."