Don’t worry, a blizzard isn’t going to hit the ACTUAL Super Bowl, being played in Santa Clara, CA. I doubt the area has ever recorded a blizzard in their recorded history. The weather for Super Bowl 50 will be quite perfect with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70s. However, other parts of the country could be seeing some rough conditions as they head to friends’ houses for the big game
An area of low pressure is dropping out of southern Manitoba and will shift over Upper Michigan by the late evening hours. Light to moderate snows are expected over the Upper Midwest from this system, but totals shouldn’t be too terribly high, mainly on the order of a couple inches. The big issue, however, will be a howling winds that are expected to develop over the Dakotas, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Iowa. Potent NNW winds are expected to develop on the backside of this storm, and the NWS has already issued Winter Weather Advisories (Purple), High Wind Warnings (Tan), and Blizzard Watches/Warnings (Green/Orange) for a healthy chunk of the region
Gusts could reach 45-60mph in the Eastern Dakotas and Western Minnesota as the low drops in, causing near zero visibilities in areas. Oftentimes, “snowstorm” and “blizzard” are terms used interchangibly, when in fact there are actual parameters that have to be met for a storm to be officially considered in a blizzard in a location. The 2 factors are:
1) Winds of 35mph or more have to last for 3 consecutive hours and
2) Visibilities must be 1/4 mile or lower for 3 consecutive hours.
A storm can impact a region and drop 2+ feet of snow, but if the wind never gets above 10mph, then it’s just a crippling snowstorm, not a blizzard. On the flip side, you can get blizzard conditions with very little, if any, snow falling at all, since blizzard criteria aren’t based on the amount of snow that falls. Hopefully football fans in the Northern US take precautions before venturing out for the game, it might be more prudent to just throw a pizza in the oven and enjoy the game at home.