A wintry mix of freezing rain, snow and rain will be waiting San Diego as it visits Cincinnati. A storm system riding along a strong arctic cold front will initially spread a wintry mix of precipitation into southwestern Ohio. This will start off as rain and freezing rain for fans traveling to the game and as temperatures warm to above freezing during the afternoon, most of the precipitation will fall as rain.
The headline game weather-wise this weekend is the match-up of San Francisco visiting Green Bay. Bitter, breathtaking cold will be in place when the game kicks off Sunday afternoon. Temperatures to start the game will be slightly above zero and drop to below zero by the end of the game.
The air temperatures alone is enough to cause problems but factor in wind speeds between 10 to 20 mph and you have a very dangerous situation for fans and players because of the wind chill. What is the wind chill? The National Weather service defines it as the following:
The wind chill index is a measure of the heat loss to a human body due to the combination of cold air and wind. The colder the air and the stronger the wind the lower the wind chill index, and the faster that heat is transported away from exposed skin the lower the wind chill index. The lower the wind chill index the more quickly that frostbite and hypothermia can develop.
During the game, wind chill values will drop to 15 to 30 degrees below zero. This is how the air will feel on any exposed skin and at these low levels frost bite can occur between 10 to 15 minutes.
Could this game top the list of coldest NFL games ever? Not likely but it will easily be in the top 5 and maybe in the top 3. These are the top three coldest games listed by NFL.com
1) Dec. 31, 1967 - Lambeau Field
"The Ice Bowl" - NFL Championship, Green Bay Packers vs. Dallas Cowboys
Temperature: -13 degrees / Wind chill: - 48 degrees
2) Jan. 10, 1982 - Riverfront Stadium
AFC Championship Game: Cincinnati Bengals vs. San Diego Chargers
Temperature: -9 degrees / Wind chill: -59 degrees
3) Jan. 7, 1996 - Arrowhead Stadium
AFC playoff: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts
Temperature: -6 degrees
Chargers vs. Bengals - Sunday, 1:05 P.M., CBS
FORECAST: Off and on rain showers with possible snow mixed.
Winds: SE-NW 5-15 mph
Kickoff – 37
Half Time - 36
Second Half – 34
49ers vs. Packers - Sunday, 4:40 P.M., FOX
FORECAST: Brutally cold temperatures, partly cloudy to mostly clear. Blustery and breezy.
Winds: Northwest 10-20 mph possible gust of 25 to 30 mph
Kickoff: 3 wind chill: -15
Half Time: -1 wind chill: -22
Second Half: -8 wind chill: -27