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.

10 Responses to “So how cold will todays Packers-49ers game be?”

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  1. Good grief!
    I hope this winter will be no colder than the usual so the the trend does not start heading the wrong way.
    May the best win and both sides survive to tell the tale.

  2. Martin C says:

    Dr. Spencer,
    I really like the ‘Forecast Maps’ tab from the WeatherStreet site, and the 3-day temperature, where you can scroll ahead every 3 hours. That is something to see how the cold air mass is projected to move.
    This is a new weather site I have now book-marked (and haven’t even looked through all the items on the other tabs . . ! )

  3. JCH says:

    Well, my Packers lost. San Francisco is always cold, so they had an unfair advantage.

    I hope now the socialist ownership will consider building a dome over Lambeau.

  4. ren says:

    Cosmic rays accurately shows the pressure and direction of impact of Arctic air on America.

  5. Gorf says:

    Polar vortex is breaking down. More of the same expected in the coming decades?

  6. Gordon Robertson says:

    What gets me is players dressing in that kind of weather with bare arms. After the game, the San Francisco quarterback, who normally plays in mild, rainy San Fran, and who had bared arms, claims it’s all in the mind.

    I saw him throw a lame duck pass during the game that was intercepted and I attribute that to the numbing effect that kind of cold has on bare skin and muscles. Also, there’s the effect of hypothermia, which is a one-way street. Once it sets in there’s no reversing it without a laborious process of re-heating the body’s core.

    When the QB threw away the all-in-the-mind barb, he directed it at a fellow player who also had played with bare arms. During the subsequent interview, the interviewer noticed he was shivering and cut the interview short. The relieved player made a beeline for a warmer location.

    There’s a place for machoism for those so inclined but when you mess with Mother Nature and cold weather, the results can be hazardous to your health. It would not surprise me if some of them have at least minor frostbite.

  7. Nathan Israeloff says:

    It’s 60 degrees in Boston right now….just sayin.

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