Monday, December 27, 2010

Will Rain in Pittsburgh Rain on DC's Classic?

The weather forecast for January 1st in Pittsburgh is hardly the stuff of a winter postcard, nor does it harken back to frosty mornings on icy ponds.  It calls for a good chance of rain showers (in fact, a 20 percent chance of thundershowers according to and unseasonably warm temperatures for the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.  The forecast doesn't look a whole lot better for the fallback date of January 2nd, which calls for temperatures somewhat cooler but rain still in the forecast.

And this is Pittsburgh, generally considered a "cold weather" city for meteorological purposes.

If this year's Winter Classic succumbs to the elements, would it have an effect on any decision to hold the event in Washington in the future?  Well, DC does have a history of some warm New Year's Days...

The average high for the date since 2000 has been 49 degrees, including a record for the date set in 2005 (according to Weather Underground).  Precipitation has not been common, but when it arrives, it does so with authority.  Max wind speeds (as opposed to gusts) have also been a bit of a problem on the date.

Would this kind of history, coupled with a canceled Winter Classic in Pittsburgh this season (should it come to pass) put a Winter Classic in Washington in jeopardy?  We, of course, are in no position to say, but it would hardly seem to be the slam dunk it might have been before these January 1, 2011 weather forecasts came out. 

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