So how cold will todays Packers-49ers game be?

January 5th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

The short answer is: colder than I would want to sit out in. I’m originally from the UP of Michigan, but over 30 years living in the South has softened me up.
But it’s probably not going to be as cold as it was looking several days ago. I’ll explain “probably” in a moment.

In this weather situation, it’s all in the timing of the cold air arrival. The air mass is indeed cold enough to set a NFL record for coldest game…if the game was held 24 hours later.

But the cold air is moving in a little more slowly than expected. At this point (1 p.m. CST) I’m expecting it will still go below zero during the game…the record is -13 deg F or so, during the Dec 31, 1967 Ice Bowl. That record probably won’t be broken.

But what’s kind of interesting is that the noon temperatures just northwest of Green Bay, which is the direction the cold air is moving in from, are running considerably colder than predicted just several hours ago:

Antigo was -6 deg at noon, which is 4 deg colder than it was supposed to be.

Wausau was -7 deg F at noon, which is fully 7 deg. colder than it was supposed to be (0 deg. F).

(Here’s our interactive surface weather map for Wisconsin.)

So, there appears to be a secondary cold front moving through. I suspect the temperature late in the game will drop rather quickly…not pleasant. It will only need to reach +1 F to put it in the top 10 coldest NFL games. I think it will beat that, anyway.

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