A Wet Winter Classic?

Would that this coming weekend’s Winter Classic had the problems much of the East Coast does this morning: too much winter wonderland. Instead, forecasts for New Years weekend in the western Pennsylvania Industrial Cesspool are calling for temps in the 50s and steady rain. Great. At least the out-of-towners won’t have to worry about wet mullets slapping the backs of their necks.

Today’s Pittsburgh Tribune Review offers a disheartening overview of the situation:

“According to AccuWeather, Saturday’s high temperature will be 53 degrees. The normal high for Jan. 1 is 36 degrees. The forecast calls for a high of 41 degrees Sunday.

“Unseasonably warm temperatures are not a primary concern because of an elaborate refrigeration system that cools the outdoor ice rink, NHL operations facilities manager Dan Craig told the Tribune-Review last week . . .

“Steady rain, however, can cause problems. It won’t immediately freeze, and the accumulating water could flood the rink’s surface, Craig said. After the water does freeze, it could create an uneven surface, possibly risking the players’ safety, he said.”

Unlike last year, when the Winter Classic was played in Fenway Park, the NHL has a very short window of opportunity with which to carry off this year’s game. Quite simply, the Steelers need their field back for the NFL playoffs. Today the NHL clarified its options should poor weather settle upon Pittsburgh as forecast: if Saturday’s a washout, the game gets moved to Sunday. And should Sunday be lost as well? The outdoor game gets jettisoned, and will be made up later on in the season indoors as the new Consol Energy Center.

This entry was posted in Hockey weather, National Hockey League, Outdoor hockey, Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals, Winter Classic 2011. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A Wet Winter Classic?

  1. Grooven says:

    Surely this cannot be a new revelation. Pittsburgh has three sunny days a year, as the President of Carnegie Mellon has a contract with Mother Nature for good weather on Parents’ Weekend, Homecoming and Graduation. Otherwise, gray and rainy is in the forecast every single day (except when it’s gray and snowy which really wasn’t all that often).

  2. penguin pete says:

    many years ago i was going to propose to my wife on new year’s day at center ice of an outdoor rink in the ‘burgh. it was 55 and rainy, the rink was closed, so my plans changed.

    i was remarried in 2005.


  3. Grooven, is Pittsburgh really the East Coast equivalent of Seattle — sans pretty women — in terms of overcast weather?

  4. Grooven says:

    In terms of overcast? The Sun rarely made an appearance. And if it did, it usually wasn’t for long.

  5. Dennis Baker says:

    stay classy, D.C.

  6. Grooven says:

    Oooh… such clever, yet unrelated, retorts.

    Anyway, the risk of rain is the same concern with the game coming to DC. DC gets more rain on average than both Seattle and Pittsburgh.

    As you’ll note in Seattle vs Pittsburgh, there’s only a difference of .5in over the course of a year. Pittsburgh is more even across the board while Seattle has a rainy season as it were: http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/compare/USWA0395?sfld1=Seattle, WA&sfld2=Pittsburgh, PA, US&clocid1=USWA0395&clocid2=USPA1290

    And lest I be accused of being not “classy” enough via some hackneyed, trite, tired and overused witticism — DC compared to Pittsburgh, on average, shows DC with more rain. The difference is that DC tends to have more sun and the rainy days tend to be clustered as opposed to the mostly overcast that Pittsburgh gets. http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/compare/USWA0395?sfld1=washington dc&sfld2=Pittsburgh, PA&clocid1=&clocid2=USPA1290

  7. penguin pete says:

    grooven, i spent 25 years of my life in pittsburgh, have family and most of my friends there.

    and anyone who can’t admit it’s filled with gray days and people who are afraid to leave are kidding themselves.

    you’re a caps fan, so i won’t call you classy (joke here!), but i won’t call you wrong either!!!

  8. Grooven says:

    Thanks Pete. I spent four years there, and can actually appreciate some of what Pittsburgh has to offer, even if I laugh at the notion of going up the incline as a big date night activity. 😀 (Food is one of the things they do well — I can practically taste the “O” fries now).
    But weather was never one of the things I would count as a selling point.
    So who besides me is braving the gray and risk of rain for this game?

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