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NHL Winter Classic: Snow and Cold in Ann Arbor

By: By Jon Erdman
Published: January 1, 2014

  

A potential record-breaking crowd for an outdoor hockey game will pack Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. for the sixth edition of the National Hockey League's Winter Classic on New Year's Day.

Current Conditions

Click on city for more forecast details

Unlike the past few iterations of the Winter Classic, slushy ice from temperatures hovering near or above freezing will not be an issue this year – but frigid temperatures will.

High pressure centered over southern Canada will keep a fresh supply of Arctic air in place over southern Michigan on New Year's Day. Afternoon high temperatures won't rise out of the teens, with a northeast breeze producing wind chills possibly into the single digits.

In short, this will be the coldest of the six NHL Winter Classics played so far.

It's not just about the cold this year.

A band of light snow should spread into southern Michigan New Year's Eve into New Year's Day.

(MAP: Interactive Radar)

Therefore, don't be surprised to see light accumulations of snow during the game itself New Year's Day. 

(WATCH: Midwest Forecast | Detroit's 60-Second Forecast)

Background

Current Temperatures

Current Temperatures

Current Temperatures

Current Temperatures

At a minimum, falling snow at Michigan Stadium during the NHL's signature outdoor game should be a spectacle to watch (1 p.m. ET on NBC).

This isn't the first outdoor hockey game at Michigan Stadium. In December 2010, in-state rivals Michigan and Michigan State faced off in "The Big Chill at the Big House".

Last year's Winter Classic was canceled due to the NHL's lockout.

Faceoff of the 2012 game in Philadelphia was pushed back a few hours due to concern over warm temperatures, as highs surged into the middle 40s. One year earlier, it was rain, not snow, that shifted the 2011 Winter Classic to a night game at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field.

This Winter Classic won't be the single coldest outdoor regular-season NHL game, however.

Ten years ago, the 2003 Heritage Classic was played just before Thanksgiving in Edmonton, Alberta between the host Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens. Despite wind chills in the 20s below zero, over 57,000 fans turned out at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium.

MORE: Snowy NFL Games Dec. 8, 2013

(Left to right) Tackle Michael Oher, guard Marshal Yanda and center Gino Gradkowski of the Baltimore Ravens stand on the snow-covered field during the national anthem before playing the Minnesota Vikings at M&T Bank Stadium on Dec. 8, 2013 in Baltimore, Md. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)


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