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Fox News Weather Center

Sunday's Big Game to Kickoff Without Polar Vortex

AccuWeather Global Weather Center - January 27, 2014 - With less than a week to go before Sunday's Big Game, the question on everyone's minds has been whether or not it will snow. AccuWeather has been tracking conditions since Dec. 18 on and the latest forecast indicates players may expect a typical winter day and average chilly temperatures when they take to the field at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

AccuWeather forecasters agree that although there may be light snow the day before the game, the brutal cold air of the Polar Vortex will not be present. Temperatures and precipitation will be more consistent with what is considered average for early February, with a daytime high in the 30s. As the first Big Game in history to be played in an open air stadium in a cold weather city, AccuWeather said players and fans will be relatively lucky in terms of weather.

"Given the time of year and location, we're expecting the best possible conditions, as the Big Game is being played in between arctic systems," AccuWeather Expert Senior Meteorologist Henry Margusity said. "By game time, temperatures will be falling into the 20s and the RealFeel Temperature® could be in the teens, but players have certainly dealt with this and even worse conditions before."

Even in lieu of snow, temperature - and perceived temperature - can be an important concern. AccuWeather represents the temperature players will actually feel with its exclusive RealFeel Temperature, which takes into account a range of weather factors to determine the actual impact of perceived temperature on the field. When the RealFeel Temperature is very low, players can not only feel cold, but the cold may affect their ability to catch and grip the football and to stay in the game for prolonged periods. The temperature expected for Sunday does not seem to present these challenges.

"The air temperature at kickoff for the Jan. 19 AFC Championship game in Denver was 60 degrees, which is almost 30 degrees higher than the current forecast for Sunday's game," Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President for AccuWeather, Inc., Evan Myers said. "Though it seems like we may have escaped the worst in terms of possible weather conditions for game day, there is still a chance that snow and other disruptive winter weather could be a factor in the game."

Precipitation, whether in the form of snow or rain, can be a major concern for any outdoor game. Accumulating snow can make the field slippery, cover field markings, and potentially lead to game stoppages-but rain and mixed precipitation can have the same effect, making the field and football slippery, adding to the possibility of dropped passes and fumbles. Wind can also have a significant impact on the game with strong winds running parallel to the field which can add or subtract lengths to kickoffs, field goals, and long passes.

In addition to its game day forecast, AccuWeather offers ongoing updates at which features snow predictions, columns and commentary by some of AccuWeather's most prominent meteorologists including, Bernie Rayno, Elliot Abrams, Henry Margusity and Evan Myers. They will continue to provide their perspectives for weather on Feb. 2, 2014, on the website. Other important information such as video forecasts (with plenty of expert analysis), historic weather for the New York region and related news items are also featured prominently on the site.