With a 200-foot snow slide under construction and a host of outdoor events scheduled, Super Bowl event planners are worried that above-normal temperatures could melt some of the fun leading up to the big game.
Not to worry, say forecasters.
The weird January weather, featuring temperatures 10 degrees above normal and little snow, should come to an end this weekend.
In a conference call, Detroit Super Bowl XL Host Committee officials said the planned Motown Winter Blast — featuring dogsled races, ice skating, the giant snow slide and other events — will go on as planned downtown no matter what the weather.
“It would be something, I think, if we didn’t get any snow,” said Susan Sherer, executive director of the host committee.
Through Monday, the mean daily temperature in Detroit was 35 degrees, about 10 degrees above normal, according to the National Weather Service. Most of the precipitation in January fell as rain.
Despite the worries, construction of the snow slide framework is underway and crews were to crank up snowmaking machines. The Winter Blast is scheduled to run from Feb. 2 through game day on Feb. 5.
Sherer said if temperatures stay warm, the slide may become too slippery and dangerous for people to ride.
The host committee, wary of a repeat of the snowstorm that hit the 1982 Super Bowl held in nearby Pontiac, has gone to great efforts to plan for snow removal, including a team of 200 Wayne State athletes who will shovel out event locations.
“Maybe we’ll have them planting flowers instead,” Sherer joked.
But Bill Deedler, climatologist with the weather service office in Oakland County’s White Lake Township, said temperatures will begin a downward trend this weekend.
“It looks as though we’ll go back to a colder, snowier period. It’s already started,” he said.
A storm predicted to pass Sunday night likely will change the pattern more toward normal, he said, adding that there’s a better than 50-50 chance for cold weather during Super Bowl week.
“There’s more up there, believe me. It’s been storing up,” he said.