Into every tailgate party a little rain must fall. How wet it gets for the 157,000 fans who will attend the Great Gotham Beat-Down - Game 3 tomorrow night in The Bank and the Eagles-Giants, Phils-Yankees Game 4 doubleheader Sunday - is up for grabs.
Look, there's a massive storm with heavy snow to its north and west and heavy rain and tornadic activity to its southeast that straddles the width of the United States from the Rio Grande in Texas to the Canadian border north of Minnesota. Denver has been buried by more than a foot of snow and summer heat has baked Florida. Between a vigorous warm front advancing from the Gulf states through the Southeast and a cold front freezing the upper Midwest there is a vast mess.
But it is taking its time crossing the country and the models are waffling more than the International House of Pancakes.
Last night's runs suggest The Linc and The Bank and all those surrounding tailgaters will be under the gun during a 24-hour window that will possibly impact all three major events starting tomorrow night, then diminishing to just a 30 percent chance of rain Sunday night. By the time you read this, however, the computers could have flip-flopped several more times. By the time you can hear the thunder and feel the first splash of rain, the computers will have nailed the forecast. In the old days, you could stand with your back to the wind and tell where the low-pressure area was located: Hold your arms out and say, "Low pressure to the left, high pressure to the right." It works.
The most recent runs of the GFS supercomputer that carries the banner for the National Weather Service are now leaning toward tomorrow afternoon and night as the period with the most measurable rain, a significant waffle.
But there's the devil in the details: You can get an inch of rain in a heavy shower that lasts an hour, or it can be spread over 12 hours in the kind of steady rain that drenched the region Tuesday night and fell heavily in New York most of the day Wednesday. You can pull out the tarp and wait out the hour shower, but you're looking at a rainout when one of those all-night frog-drowners settles in. The probability of rain has been pumped to 70 percent tomorrow night.
My take? Enjoy temperatures in the 70s tomorrow. At game time, a humid breeze from the south gusting to 25 mph will be starching The Bank flags. Dress for possible rain. Ditto The Linc's hearty tailgaters, who will party hearty on Sunday in anything from a Category 1 hurricane to a blue norther. They know the drill.
Game 4 fans - assuming Game 3 is played on schedule - should dress for cooler temperatures as the cold front drags through the region, ushering in seasonable Nov. 1 temperatures.