There's a pair of outdoor games in college hockey on Saturday. Miami and Western Michigan will face-off at 4pm, followed by Michigan and Michigan State at 7pm at Chicago's Soldier Field in the Hockey City Classic.
As with any outdoor game, the weather will likely play a factor in the game. So what will the weather be like for the games? Meteorology is an inexact science, especially this far out, but here's what is in the forecast for Saturday evening.
It's pretty cold in Chicago right now, with temperatures in the teens. But it's expected to warm up over the weekend, with temperatures in the mid-30's all of Saturday. That's not ideal, but not necessarily terrible for ice conditions. I'd expect a bit of extra slushiness on the ice, especially towards the end of each period, but overall a playable surface. It's expected to be pretty overcast on Saturday, so the sun shouldn't play any factor with the ice surface in the early stages of the first game.
Winds of 5-6mph coming out of the south are expected throughout the day. With Soldier Field's playing surface being aligned north-south, there's the possibility of teams switching sides midway through the third period to account for wind, but it might not be necessary.
The biggest concern at the moment is the threat of rain for the second game. There's about a 30% chance of rain expected for Chicago on Saturday night. Preliminary radar shows Chicago at the very southern tip of a band of precipitation that will roll across the upper Midwest. Any sort of rain would play serious havoc with the ice surface. But there's always the possibility of the storm missing Chicago completely or temperature predictions being a few degrees off and it coming down as snow. There's also always the possibility of this forecast completely changing over the next 48-to-72 hours. But overall, it should be a decent day for an outdoor game, especially if the rain stays away at night.