7 Weather Extremes That Will Affect NFL Games This Season

Football season is upon us and that means millions of fans will be braving the extreme weather to see their favorite NFL team try to bring home a win.

Through extreme heat, freezing cold and everything in between, the league is notorious for enduring some brutal weather conditions.

If Mother Nature goes by the normal playbook, weather forecasters already have a good sense of which games might be the coldest, warmest, windiest, and even snowiest.

Here are the seven games to watch during the 2022-2023 NFL regular season.

Game with the warmest potential

After many hot preseason games, the first games of the NFL regular season begin in early September.

If Mother Nature goes along with what is typically seen in the first month of metrological fall, Glendale, Arizona will be home to the warmest NFL game of the season.

The Chiefs are scheduled to face the Cardinals on Sunday, September 11 at State Farm Stadium.

Days in the desert southwest are typically warm with highs reaching the low 100s.

But if you’re a fan, don’t worry about sitting and sweating in the extreme heat.

Glendale’s stadium has a retractable roof that is usually closed, and there are usually many air conditioning units in the arena.

Phoenix Stadium.
Days in the desert southwest are typically warm with highs reaching the low 100s.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Phoenix Stadium.
State Farm Stadium has a retractable roof that is normally closed.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

One venue that doesn’t have the choice to close its roof is Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

The Patriots take on the Dolphins on the same day as the Arizona game, so the Sunshine State game will be in contention for possibly the hottest temperature on the field.

An average high in South Florida usually reaches nearly 90 degrees, not counting the humidity or the effects of the pavement absorbing and releasing some of the heat.

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Hard Rock Stadium.
Hard Rock Stadium has no way to close the roof on hot days.
Mike Ehrman/Getty Images
dolphin fans.
The Patriots vs. Dolphins game will be in contention for possibly the hottest temperature on the field.
Eric Espada/Getty Images

Game with the coldest potential

The coldest game looks set for Lambeau Field as the Detroit Lions take on the Green Bay Packers in the final week of the regular season.

The NFL is still working on the timing, but it appears the game will take place in the first two weeks of the new year.

According to climate data, a typical early January day in Green Bay has a low of about 12 degrees and a high that only reaches the mid-20s.

Lambeau field.
A typical early January day in Green Bay sees a low of about 12 degrees and a high in the mid-20’s.
Larry Radloff/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Depending on which large-scale weather events are in control, it’s not uncommon for temperatures to never rise above zero and minimum temperatures to be colder than -20 degrees.

Cold air temperatures do not account for potential wind chill, which could make prolonged exposure to the elements even more dangerous.

Rainiest potential game

If the September 11 showdown between the Patriots and the Dolphins doesn’t turn out to be the warmest, it could be due to afternoon thunderstorms.

The near-daily occurrence of wet weather could make the South Florida game the rainiest of the year.

Largely because of the storms, no other city that hosts NFL games gets as much rain as Miami.

Hard Rock Stadium.
Play is halted when lightning is detected near Hard Rock Stadium.
Doug Benc/Getty Images

The metro area averages more than 60 inches of precipitation a year, and there could be about a third of an inch of precipitation on a day in early September.

Unfortunately, the rain usually comes from storms, which tend to produce a lot of dangerous lightning.

Hard Rock Stadium says if lightning is spotted in close proximity, it encourages the public to seek shelter and halts play.

Windiest potential game

If the weather is average, get your anemometer out and get ready for the January 1, 2023 Dolphins and Patriots meeting.

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Winds in eastern Massachusetts average 12.6 miles per hour during the first month of the year, according to NOAA data.

Not only do winds have a significant impact on the kicker’s ability to get the ball through the posts, but the force of Mother Nature can affect the betting line before teams even see the field.

Chicago’s claim to fame as the “Windy City” does not hold true as the new year begins, as cities like Buffalo and New York tend to have higher wind speeds.

Snowiest game

Cold weather fans may have to wait until the final week of the regular season to see the snowiest games.

While the NFL is still figuring out the times and dates for the latest games, weather almanacs give us a glimpse of what to expect.

If Old Man Winter stays true to his norms, the Patriots’ playoff rematch against the Bills could have the most snow on the ground.

Lambeau field.
Fans walk into a snowy Lambeau field before a game.
Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Green Bay Packers fan dances in a bathing suit in the snow.
Games in Chicago, Green Bay and Denver have a chance of snowing.
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Buffalo, New York averages just under an inch of snow per day in early January.

The region ranks ahead of cities like Chicago, Green Bay and Denver, which will also host games with a likelihood of seeing snow.

First game of the year under the night sky

The first game of the year to kick off after sunset and not be under a canopy of lights is the Sept. 18 game between the Bears and the Packers.

Sunday night’s game begins at 7:20 p.m. CDT, which is about 24 minutes after sunset.

As the season progresses, more and more games are kicked off without sunlight due to the shortening of days between the summer and winter solstices.

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The subtle change in light can have a stronger effect on the body than one might think.

Medical experts say that a change in light and time can affect a body’s circadian rhythm.

A study published in the National Library of Medicine found that soccer players who can control their sleep patterns had an advantage during games.

Biggest game of heights

Believe it or not, the human body is affected by elevation changes, and the 2022-2023 season may have a couple of places that make the team victorious.

One game to watch is the November 21 game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals in Mexico City.

Mexico City.
The Estadio Azteca has an elevation of around 7,200 feet.
Alika Jenner/Getty Images
Field Mexico City.
Mexico City has posted tips for visitors on its website to learn about the potential for altitude sickness.
Miguel Tovar/LatinContent via Getty Images

Denver usually boasts of having the game with the highest altitudes, but due to the league’s international streak, the Estadio Azteca wins at an altitude of about 7,200 feet.

Medical professionals say that people unaccustomed to high altitudes may experience increased fatigue due to the body’s inability to carry oxygen.

Mexico City has published facts and tips on its website so visitors can learn more about the potential for altitude sickness while visiting the Central American country.

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