Weather Report from the Weather Channel.

There has been a lot of talk about the weather for the 2011 Winter Classic.  The weather report isn’t looking incredibly optimistic and there is a possibility that the game could be delayed due to rain.  That’s one of the hazards of playing a hockey game outdoors.  There’s always a chance that Mother Nature fails to co-operate.

The NHL does have a couple contingency plans for the event.  The game could start later if it looks like the weather will clear up as day turns into night.  There’s also a possibility that the game could be moved to Sunday if there is heavy rain throughout the day on Saturday.  Obviously this is not the option that the NHL would like to exercise, but NBC will show the game on either day.

Of course, the worst possible option is that there could be heavy rain all weekend.  In that case, the game would be rescheduled for the CONSOL Energy Center and all of the game’s hype falls out the window.  HBO would not be impressed.

So will it rain on New Year’s Day?  Obviously we’re not meteorologists and even if we were there is really no way to know for sure.  The five-day forecast above shows a 50% chance of rain, but how accurate is that prediction?

As the Pensblog correctly points out, there’s also a 50% chance that it won’t rain.

We’ve been making posts about the weather recently, but we’re not worried about the Winter Classic. It will be fine. The puck will drop shortly after 1:00pm, and it will be a success. Rain? Flip a coin.

Now, if it’s December 31st and the forecast has changed to show a 90% chance of rain, there could be a serious issue, but the NHL will cross that bridge if they get to it.  Dan Rosen, a senior writer for NHL.com, had this to say on NHL.com’s Winter Classic blog:

Questions about weather and contingency plans will be asked all week, but nobody has any clue, not me, not Dan Craig, not Don Renzulli and not even the weathermen.

As one Penguins employee pointed out to me yesterday, we all know the joke that weathermen are the only people in the world paid to be wrong, so why all of a sudden are we taking what they’re saying as gospel?

Let’s all wait and see.

For now, let’s just enjoy a great day in Pittsburgh.

Ultimately there’s no way to know what will happen.  Even if, on the morning of January 1st, the forecast calls for a 100% chance of rain, there could still be clear skies at 1pm.  Starting the game later in the day wouldn’t be a huge blow to the league either.    Plus, a small amount of rain shouldn’t matter much, but a large storm would definitely cause major problems.

However, maybe the NHL was tempting fate when they created a Winter Classic commercial featuring a fierce rainstorm.

Who decided it would be a good idea to make rain one of the key points of the commercial anyway?