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Winter Classic weather: Early forecasts show favorable conditions

By Chris Peters | Hockey Writer

Michigan Stadium is getting ready for its close-up on Jan. 1. (USATSI)
Michigan Stadium is getting ready for its close-up on Jan. 1. (USATSI)

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As with any outdoor hockey game, weather is going to be a factor and it's something that is always worth closely monitoring when it comes to the NHL Winter Classic. With 10 days to go, early forecasts are starting to materialize for Ann Arbor, Mich., on Jan. 1.

According to Weather.com's 10-day forecast, Ann Arbor is expecting a high of 19 degrees, with a low of 11 on Jan. 1. The forecast also projects a partly cloudy day with a 10 percent chance of snow during the day. So, in other words, just about perfect for outdoor hockey.

With a 1 p.m. ET start time between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs, some cloud cover would be good for the ice and for TV viewers hoping to avoid a glare. It also obviously keeps the temperature down. There are still likely to be complications with the ice, as they can't control everything, but these conditions sure seem to be favorable.

Weather comes into play every year, of course. There's the issues with the ice, but the weather also becomes part of the atmosphere and helps set the stage. You can only do so much about Mother Nature and forecasts this far are out often can and probably will change dramatically. If it does somehow hold up, however, it could be a great setting at the Big House.

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