PHILADELPHIA -- The rain predicted for the Philadelphia region on Tuesday afternoon may create an immediate challenge for the rink build, but the weather patterns beyond the impending soaking appear promising right through Jan. 2, according to the detailed reports NHL Senior Vice President of Events Don Renzulli receives twice daily.
"It's mid-to-upper 20s and 30s at night and up into the mid-to-upper 40s during the day," Renzulli told NHL.com. "Right now they're calling game-day as mostly cloudy, chance for light rain or snow showers late. So I would anticipate we're not going to see much during the game."
Renzulli's updates come from Planalytics, a weather-tracking company based in Berwyn, Pa., that specializes in giving detailed weather reports and statistics.
"You still have to go day by day, but what didn't change is last year in Pittsburgh, for two weeks it was right on with what we got," Renzulli said. "It hasn't changed at all yet. We don't have any big fronts coming through. I don't see that changing."
And there aren't any freezing temperatures planned for during the day, either. If that stays consistent over the next week, the fans coming to the ballpark next Monday may not have to layer up as much as they did in Buffalo, Chicago and Boston.
"I think we'd all like to see some snow in the mix. We would like that (Buffalo snow again)," Renzulli said. "But as a fan, I don't know you want to sit here and freeze to death. The 40s are not so bad. It's a little bit more comfortable.
"Other than that, as we go into this, you just never know. You look back at the weather pattern for the last 20 years like we did, I think 11 of the 20 Jan 2's were rain. If we don't have rain until after the game or snow showers, we're fine.
While that should allow for optimism, NHL Senior Director of Facilities Operations Dan Craig said he doesn't care what the forecast is for a week from now.
"It's too soon (to worry about weather Jan. 2)," Craig told NHL.com.
Instead, Craig is thinking about how the rain predicted for Tuesday afternoon will affect his timing in getting the rink completed for the media skate scheduled for Thursday at noon.
"Once we get through (Tuesday afternoon), we're talking heavy rains, I think we might get some light stuff, but nothing that's going to affect anything else," Renzulli said.