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Farmers' Almanac predicts Super Bowl XLVIII to be 'Storm Bowl'

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

The Farmers' Almanac is predicting a 'bitterly cold' winter in the Northeast. (USATSI)

In a little more than five months, Super Bowl XLVIII will be held in East Rutherford, New Jersey at MetLife Stadium. For as long as there has been football it has been played in cold weather, but this will be the first time in 47 years that the big game will be played outdoors in a region known for freezing temperatures in February. In fact, the coldest it's ever been for a Super Bowl kickoff is 39 degrees, and that was 43 years ago at Tulane Stadium (New Orleans) when the Chiefs faced the Vikings.

We mention this because depending on the logistical success of this year's game, the NFL could be more inclined to return to a cold-weather city in the future. And if you get your weather reports from a book that's released once a year instead of, you know, The Weather Channel, you already know that the tri-state area will be facing a cold winter.

How cold? Farmers' Almanac, which hits newsstands Monday, describes it as "bitterly, piercing and biting."

Instead of using complicated computer models, the Farmers' Almanac relies on planetary positions, sunspots and lunar cycles, a method that has remained unchanged since founder David Young published the first almanac in 1818.

More via the AP:

Modern scientists don't put much stock in sunspots or tidal action, but the almanac says its forecasts used by readers to plan weddings and plant gardens are correct about 80 percent of the time.

Last year, the forecast called for cold weather for the eastern and central U.S. with milder temperatures west of the Great Lakes. It started just the opposite but ended up that way.

Caleb Weatherbee, the publication's elusive prognosticator, said he was off by only a couple of days on two of the season's biggest storms: a February blizzard that paralyzed the Northeast with 3 feet of snow in some places and a sloppy storm the day before spring's arrival that buried parts of New England.

The almanac predicts a big storm to hit between Feb. 1 and Feb. 3, prompting managing editor Sandi Duncan to note, "It really looks like the Super Bowl may be the Storm Bowl."

To which we say: Good.

We love the idea of a Super Bowl played in less-than-ideal conditions. The problem, however, is that because this is a worldwide spectacle and a week-long event that has substantially more moving parts than your garden-variety cold-weather playoff game, limiting the variables that can derail the experience -- namely, weather (or if this is New Orleans, electricity) -- is a no-brainer for the league.

It's just too bad for the NFL that the almanac isn't a biennial publication.

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