January 17, 2015

Will Weather Help the Seahawks?

Sunday is the day of the big NFC championship game in which the Seattle Seahawks will face the Green Bay Packers.

What will be the weather at game time (starting a 12:05 PM) and how might it influence the score?  We will take that on in this blog.

The Green Bay folks are going to be exposed to weather outside of their comfort zone.   Here are the average conditions at that frigid, arctic-like location. In January the average, high is in the 20s and the lows below zero.  Also very dry (only about an inch, compared to around 5 inches around here). Green Bay  is used to cold and dry;  they will experience warm an wet.

Today, the Packers, who are in town getting ready, will experience a substantial Pineapple Express, with subtropical moisture, wind, and warm conditions buffeting their practice.  Here is a chart showing the plume of moisture heading right towards us (for 4 PM)

Heavy rain will hit the area today as a result.   The main plume of moisture will move through tonight, but during the game light showers will continue, ensuring that the field and balls will be wet.  Here are the latest UW WRF model forecasts for the 3-h precipitation ending 1 PM and 4 PM Sunday.  The rain won't be heavy but they should be some during the game.  And the rain should lessen as the game proceeds.

It should modestly windy during the game, with sustained winds around 15 mph with gusts to 20-25 mph.  The kind of conditions the Seahawks are used to.

Nick Bond, State Climatologist, and co-instructor with me of the UW senior forecasting class, has examined the correlation of weather with Seahawks performance (see below).  The numbers are impressive: the Seahawks win FOUR TIMES as many home games as they lose when the weather is poor, with an average point differential of 12 during bad weather.

So if you are going to the game, bring a hat and rain jacket, with your earplugs.  The NW weather gods clearly have a favorite.


  1. With respect to the Patriot deflategate scandal - would not a football inflated to 12.5 psi gauge in a team room with temperature 75 degrees lose substantial pressure - i. e perhps 1.5 or more decrease in psi - when exposed to a 20 degree ambient temperatures in a game? I wonder if these changes in temperature are controlled for in the NFL milleu. Good class question for basic meteorology.


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