Weather crucial for days leading up to Super Bowl

A mound of snow is shown outside of A mound of snow is shown outside of MetLife Stadium before a game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Giants. (Dec. 15, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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It has been the talk of the town -- and the league -- since the NFL awarded Super Bowl XLVIII to the metropolitan area in May 2010: What will the weather be like on game day?

The Farmer's Almanac reported in August that bitter cold and wintry precipitation are in our futures for that weekend, which certainly could be true. Or not.

But weather concerns surrounding the Super Bowl extend far beyond game day. Take this week's winter storm, four weeks before the football world descends on New York for the big event.

What if this week had been that week? Well, the game would not have been a problem, with relatively mild temperatures forecast for Sunday. But a significant snowstorm like the one that hit Thursday night would have had a severe impact on many people outside the participating teams who arrive a week ahead of time.

Friday is a hugely important arrival day for visiting fans, whose spending is a key part of the often wildly optimistic estimates of economic impact from the Super Bowl. Much of the nation's air travel system was in disarray Thursday night and Friday. If that were the case Jan. 30 and 31, it would do serious damage to Super Bowl logistics.

As Atlanta in 2000 and Dallas-Fort Worth in 2011 discovered during ice storms in the days leading up to their games, Super Bowl week counts, too.

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