By Jan Null, Lecturer of Meteorology and Climate Science and Certified Consulting Meteorologist
This week will see the eyes of the world focused on the San Francisco Bay Area for Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, 2016, and the days preceding. Game day is still at the far end of the meteorological forecast model’s capabilities, and consequently, it is still a tossup as to whether it will actually rain in Santa Clara on that day. There is even a lesser chance of rain during the four-hour period of play.
The general trend for the entire week of activities preceding the Super Bowl is both good news and bad news. The good news is that only a couple weak weather systems will move through the region during that time, but the bad news is that most Californians would rather see more rain toward the mitigation of the drought.
Looking at the past 49 years during the week preceding the Super Bowl, it has rained on average two days, with an average rainfall amount of 0.81 inches at the Mineta-San Jose International Airport, just three miles away from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. That rain occurred on 37 of the 49 weeks, or 76 percent of the time. It is also interesting to note that the two wettest Super Bowl weeks were during the strong El Nino events of 1997-98 (6.76 inches) and 1972-73 (2.23 inches).
Over the past 49 February 7ths it has rained 41 percent of the time on game day, but probably on the order of 15 percent of the time during the late afternoon.
The bottom line looks like any precipitation will be more of nuisance and not a deluge.