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What If A New York Blizzard Hits In February 2014?

You're wondering, of course, why the Deep Dish would be worried about a potential snowstorm that's more than three years away.

But after yesterday's paralyzing blizzard that hit the Northeast, shutting down airports from New York to Boston and forcing the Vikings/Eagles game to be postponed until Tuesday, it's a valid question, examined by George Vecsey in this New York Times column today. The Super Bowl is scheduled to be played in New Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey on either Feb. 2, 9 or 16, 2014, depending on the length and format of the 2013 season.

And as we have seen, New York City and its environs, which are generally a bit milder than Chicago in the winter, can get blasted by 20+ inch snowstorms on a regular basis. In fact, over the last 30 years, quite a number of big snowstorms have hit New York in February, including that city's biggest-ever snow -- 26.9 inches -- on Feb. 11 and 12, 2006.

Some complained yesterday that "football's meant to be played in the snow" and that the NFL was somehow "weak" for postponing the Vikings/Eagles game. But the safety of the fans, players and employees trying to get to the stadium -- or home, afterward -- is more important than playing at the scheduled time. That's not to mention the possibility of injury to the players during the game.

They're already, says Vecsey, tempting fate with the college football Pinstripe Bowl, scheduled for this Thursday at Yankee Stadium:

The impending Pinstripe Bowl, matching Syracuse and Kansas State in Yankee Stadium on Thursday night, had to call off a clinic for children and an outdoor rally scheduled for Times Square on Monday. Imagine the nightmare of jamming cars into the normal tangle around Yankee Stadium, now gorged with the snow that swerved up the East Coast on Sunday.

For whatever reason, storms on the East Coast of the USA have seemed to be more intense in recent years -- including yesterday's, that makes four 20+ inch blizzards in New York City since 1996, which exceeds the number of such storms in Chicago (three) since 1967. Maybe they'll get lucky -- record highs in New York in February are generally in the 60s -- but more likely, they'll get temperatures in the 30s... and a chance of a major snowstorm.