Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

Sunday expected to be coldest Super Bowl on record

After lunch, Becky O'Donnell, from Florida, and her sister Jessica Gregg from Los Angeles, walk down Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis bundled up in five layers of clothes topped off with a Super Bowl LII knit hat to deal with the cold weather in Minneapolis on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. Gregg is a corporate lawyer and O'Donnell is an elementary school teacher and they will both be at the Super Bowl. Jean Pieri / Pioneer Press1 / 2
Eagle fans Ann Quinn, left, and Eileen Stenel from Philadelphia dress Mary Tyler Moore up in a green hat and scarf for a photo on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018. Jean Pieri / Pioneer Press2 / 2

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota is expected to do what it does best this weekend for the Super Bowl: get really cold.

It's anticipated to be the coldest Super Bowl on record, even colder than when Minnesota last hosted it in 1992.

Not that Philadelphia and Boston — homes of the two teams playing Sunday, Feb. 4 — don't get cold.

But, "When our snow falls, it melts before the next snow falls," Philadelphian Ann Quinn said. "That's the difference. It just keeps accumulating here."

The forecast shows a high of around 8 degrees Sunday and a low of -3, the first time a Super Bowl Sunday has ever dipped below zero in the host city. Wind chills could be as low as -19, according to a tweet from the National Weather Service. There's a 20 percent chance of snow early Sunday as well.

The big game Sunday will be played indoors. But many of the festivities surrounding the Super Bowl are outdoors.

Less-chilly Super Bowl cities

Prior to this year, the coldest Super Bowl was in Pontiac, Mich., in 1982, according to data from the Southeast Regional Climate Center. The high was 16 degrees; the low, 5 degrees. That game — and 17 others — also was played indoors.

In 1972, the Dallas Cowboys took on the Miami Dolphins outdoors, with a 43-degree high, the coldest Super Bowl played outdoors — at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.

In Los Angeles and San Diego, Super Bowl Sunday temperatures have reached 82 degrees. For last year's Super Bowl in Houston, played indoors, the high was 78.

Embracing the cold

This year, authorities with the Host Committee said they've been planning for cold — with warming benches, places near Super Bowl Live for folks to go inside, and suggestions for appropriate clothing — for years. The idea is to embrace the cold. With ice sculptures, skating, a tubing hill and other Minnesota traditions showcased.

"We've always planned for cold weather, after all it's February in Minnesota," Host Committee Spokesman Mike Howard said. Organizers will monitor weather conditions and alter event plans should it get too cold.

Visitors aren't even trying to act like this is normal.

"It's colder" here, said Joanne Stoltz of Philadelphia while taking in the Twin Cities Thursday. "It's cold."

Minnesotans take it in stride

For Minnesotans, the weather is slightly colder than usual, but nothing out of the ordinary. It's a chance to show the rest of the country just how cool Minnesota is, some say.

"Am I the only one happy that it's been brutally cold so far for #SuperBowl week?," Nick Lewis tweeted. "We don't need these out of towners coming here thinking we're soft. Or worse: not leaving. Let them know we zipline in sub zero temps and jump into frozen lakes. This is the friggin' #Bold North."

Our weather makes news elsewhere

"The big chill: Cold weather is odd for Super Bowl host but a way of life in Minnesota" read a columnist's headline on www.usatoday.com Thursday.

"Don't whine about Super Bowl's bitter cold in Minneapolis — embrace the Bold North" is the headline on a column for Yahoo! Sports.

"How to dress in layers for winter, from a Minnesota expert" was the headline to an Associated Press story on the Boston Herald website.

There are plenty of news stories and social media posts about our cold. Perhaps too many, some ridicule.

"Loving all the weather updates from the Super Bowl, can't believe it's cold in Minnesota in February," Twitter user Ryan McCann from Washington D.C. tweeted.

Jace Frederick contributed to this report.

Advertisement