As the countdown continues leading up to the biggest NFL game of the season – the Super Bowl – Mother Nature may sit on the bench and leave the entertainment to the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“Earlier in the week, it looked like this year the players could have some rain to contend with, but thankfully those chances have diminished as the week progressed,” says CNN Meteorologist Taylor Ward.
This year’s game will take place in Tampa, Florida. Since Super Bowl Sunday’s inception in 1967, the city of Tampa has hosted the big game on four separate occasions.
Given its low latitude and proximity to the Gulf of Mexico, the city rarely fails to impress when it comes to early February weather. However, this week has been a little different.
On Monday and Tuesday, the coldest air of the season filtered all the way into central Florida, dropping overnight lows down to the 30’s in the region, while putting iguanas on alert in South Florida.
Temperatures have since warmed up, thanks to a shift in the wind direction, coming from the south late-week. Meanwhile to the north, a cold front currently tracking through the Gulf and East Coasts of the US will work its way through Florida. This therefore brings a chance for rain this weekend.
A few showers and thunderstorms will be possible across Tampa and central Florida Saturday afternoon, becoming the most widespread Saturday night. Rainfall totals will amount from a half inch to 1 inch in the Tampa Bay area.
The cold front, which is where most of the rain will be focused, will then sweep through central Florida Sunday morning. Behind that front will be cooler, drier air. Partly cloudy skies and a stray shower Sunday morning will become sunny by the afternoon, with a high temperature in the low 70s.
Northwesterly winds may gust up to 15 mph at times, and that should continue during the game when it kicks off at 6:30 p.m. EST.
At the start of the game, temperatures should fall to the mid 60s and then down to the upper 50s by the end. This combination of dry and seasonable conditions should make for great (but boring) weather during the game.
“People tend to love a good snow game or one played in fierce winds or tropical downpours,” says Ward.
“It provides an opportunity to see how the best athletes in the world deal with the elements and a bit of adversity. But when it comes to the Super Bowl, most fans want to see a clear and mild game with ideal playing conditions.”
Rain is not unusual during the Super Bowl when taking place in Florida. If fact, the wettest Super Bowl Sunday occurred back in 2007 when the Indianapolis Colts faced the Chicago Bears at Dolphin Stadium in Miami. The day brought nearly 1 inch of rainfall with winds gusting to 20 mph.
Tampa Bay would need to record more than .28” of rainfall on Sunday to make the list of the top three wettest Super Bowl Sundays on record, despite the rain happening before the game.