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Thanksgiving Day Football: Cold Rain to Soak Fans as Green Bay Packers Take on Chicago Bears

Whether it's a friendly backyard game between family and friends or a time-tested rivalry between high school, college or professional teams, Americans have long enjoyed a football game on Thanksgiving Day.

Three NFL games are scheduled this year as the Detroit Lions will host the Philadelphia Eagles, the Dallas Cowboys will welcome the undefeated Carolina Panthers and two longtime rivals will converge at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where the Chicago Bears will battle the Green Bay Packers.

With a roof providing shelter overhead at both Detroit's Ford Field and the Cowboys' AT&T stadium in Arlington, Texas, fans can enjoy the game in relative comfort.

However, while the weather will be cloudy and mild in Detroit, pregame festivities and tailgating in Arlington could be impacted by stormy conditions.

"There will be showers and perhaps a thunderstorm around at any time during the day," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Edwards said. "It will be a rather mild day with temperatures approaching 70 degrees Fahrenheit toward early Thursday evening. Winds will be rather gusty out of the south-southeast at 20-30 mph."

For the 7:30 p.m. CST kickoff in Green Bay, fans should be prepared to bring rain gear along with hats and gloves, according to Edwards.

"Rain looks likely during the day in Green Bay, and it could linger into part of the evening on Thursday," Edwards said. "It will be chilly with a temperature around 40 degrees at kickoff and 37 degrees by the end of the game. AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures will be in the middle to upper 20s during the game."

Winds will blow toward the south end of Lambeau Field at 10-20 mph, he added.

Despite the wet and cold conditions, Lambeau Field has a heating system built under the playing surface that keeps the field from freezing and in ideal shape for the players.

Across the college football landscape, two in-state match-ups will take place. In Texas, Texas Tech will travel to Austin to face the University of Texas for a 6:30 p.m. CST start.

It will be cloudy and breezy with highs near 80 F during the day in Austin. Temperatures in the evening will settle in the low 70s.

"There will be a passing shower or thunderstorm, but the most widespread activity will be farther north," Edwards said.

The University of South Florida will clash with the University of Central Florida in Orlando at 7:30 p.m. EST. Thursday will be warm in the city with highs near 80 F under partly sunny skies, but by game time, temperatures will reach the low 70s along with a gusty wind out of the east-northeast around 10-20 mph.

In additional to the professional and college ranks, Turkey Day is a high school football bonanza. However, the large storm bringing snow, soaking rain, cold winds and even ice could impact high school games across the Central states.

Areas from central and northern Texas through the central Plains up into the Great Lakes will face rain and thunderstorms, while the snow and ice on the backside of the storm spreads from Nebraska to northern Wisconsin, Edwards said.


Have questions, comments, or a story to share? Email Kevin Byrne at Kevin.Byrne@accuweather.com, follow him on Twitter at @Accu_Kevin. Follow us @breakingweather, or on Facebook and Google+.