Patriots-Chiefs weather forecast: Freezing temperatures expected during AFC Championship Game, but no snow
The NFL playoffs might avoid another big-time weather event, as arctic blast could miss Kansas City
UPDATE (Sun., Jan. 20): Any concerns about snow and wind and ice and all kinds of weather related to the potential arctic blast that was headed towards Kansas City can be discarded. The weather is going to be much "nicer" for the AFC Championship Game on Sunday evening in KC.
The quotes are somewhat sarcastic -- it will be sunny for most of the day at Arrowhead Stadium, but it will also be very, very, VERY cold. The latest forecast calls for minimal wind (10 mph max during the game), no snow or precipitation (1 percent chance) and freezing cold temperatures (20 degrees at kick).
It's pretty wild but the temperature and general weather both look like they'll be remarkably consistent for this game. But that's what we're getting -- after several days of hand-wringing about the insane nature of the weather, it looks like we could end up seeing very clear, albeit cold, weather.
Indeed, according to KC branch of the National Weather Service, we're looking at the coldest day of the season and the coldest day in almost a year, with the potential to get even lower.
Want to know? We've got you covered. Patrick Mahomes, of course, already showed he can produce in nasty weather, leading the Chiefs to a victory over the Colts last week.
A bigger test awaits and you can stream the game on CBS All Access.or
UPDATE (Sat., Jan 19): Remember the whole early week concern with the weather dominating the AFC Championship Game? That doesn't look like it's going to be a thing. Instead, the weather is actually tracking to be decently "warm" for the Chiefs-Patriots matchup, with expected temperatures of -5 degrees now giving way to expected temperatures of around 30 degrees.
The warm there was obvious sarcasm -- 30 degrees is still two degrees below freezing. But there's a pretty massive difference between -5 degrees with snow and rain and 30 degrees and a sunny day all day.
In fact, if you believe the meteorologists on this one, a much colder Saturday (high temps in the low 20's) will give way to a Sunday that sees the temperature rise as the day moves along, basically peaking around 30 degrees for kickoff.
This could all change pretty quickly. Weather is weird that way. And it's not like the Chiefs and Pats will be playing in really fun weather here either. It's going to be dark or getting dark or almost dark by kickoff, with the game set to go at 5:40 p.m. CT and Kansas City sunset scheduled for 5:24 p.m. CT.
At that point, the temperatures will start dropping again and settle into the mid/low 20's. That's better news for the Chiefs and their high-flying offense, but there's still plenty of reason to be worried about playing the Patriots in these conditions,.
There's still tons of ice and snow and whatnot that Kansas City is dealing with from the Friday storm, but it appears everything should be fairly clear by the time Sunday's game rolls around. It's a stark contrast from the early week forecast.
UPDATE (Thurs. Jan. 17): There's some "good" news for people in Kansas City hoping to avoid frostbite and complete coverage in snow when they head to the Chiefs AFC Championship Game versus the Patriots on Sunday: the weather is appearing to take a turn for the "warmer."
Those are not direct quotes, those are sarcastic air quotes, because it's still going to be VERY cold in Arrowhead on Sunday based on the latest updated temperatures from Thursday morning. However, it does not appear as if it is going to be historically and painfully cold on Sunday for the Chiefs-Patriots game.
Per Accuweather, temperatures that were hurtling towards negative degrees with the wind chill might now "just" be in the 20's.
You'll notice the cloud cover there as well -- that means we won't be seeing much of the Super Blood Wolf Moon when it happens (there's a lunar eclipse scheduled to occur on Sunday night, but it appears it's only going to happen during the fourth quarter if it all).
Per the report on Accuweather, it will be mostly a "dry and sunny" day for anyone tailgating. It's just going to be really, really cold: it will "feel" like it's somewhere around zero degrees to -10 degrees when it's all said and done.
An "arctic blast" was initially scheduled to hover over Arrowhead, but this is a good reminder of just how fickle the weather can be in these situations. On Wednesday morning, it looked like Kansas City would get temperatures ranging from -5 degrees to 10 degrees, coupled with snow being dumped on the stadium the day before.
Now it looks like the weather could be clear and sunny but in the 20-degree range. That's a pretty significant shift in weather for 24 hours.
The divisional round matchup in Kansas City featured some pretty awesome weather, with a bunch of snow being dumped on Arrowhead Field ahead of the NFL playoff matchup between the Colts and Chiefs. We might be in store for more of the same this coming weekend when the Chiefs host the Patriots during the franchise's first-ever AFC Championship Game at home, which you can stream on CBS All Access.
The Associated Press reported Monday on an "arctic blast" that could settle in over Kansas City on Sunday night, which would make the Patriots-Chiefs game one of the coldest games in modern NFL history. From the report, via the National Weather Service:
The National Weather Service is projecting an arctic blast to settle over Kansas City for the Chiefs' game against the New England Patriots. Temperatures at kickoff could range from 10 degrees to well below zero, potentially making it the coldest game in Arrowhead Stadium history.
There's still almost a full week of weather doing weather things -- variance abounds! -- that could create changes in this pattern. There is a lot that goes into a winter storm of this magnitude rolling into Kansas City. But the storm is coming and it's currently targeting the midwest.
Cold isn't the only wild weather event that could take place during the AFC Championship Game. North America and South America will get to see the last lunar eclipse of the decade on Sunday night and(not even kidding, man) which will likely hit its height around the third quarter of the Patriots-Chiefs game.
According to Accuweather's latest forecast -- released on Wednesday morning -- the temps for this game are going to be low. Kickoff should be around 6 degrees and it's only dropping the later it gets, with the fourth quarter potentially getting as cold as negative-3 degrees.
Interestingly, there is not expected to be any wind that will impact the game per the Accuweather report. (And by "interestingly" I mean, that's very interesting forsince news of the arctic blast came out.)
Earlier in the week, Ryan Maue of WeatherModels.com projected "brutally" cold temperatures ranging from negative-5 degrees to 10 degrees -- his model showed the arctic blast with a "center right over Arrowhead Stadium."
Maue added that he would set the over/under for the temperature at kickoff in Arrowhead at 4.5 degrees. That's really, really cold. Even if it goes over, as the Accuweather forecast would have you believe, it's still really cold. Anything under 10 degrees is probably negligible when you're standing outside on a large open grass surface. You're freezing either way.
Based on the Pro-Football-Reference database, that would absolutely qualify as one of the coldest games in Arrowhead Stadium history. The Chiefs have hosted six games at Arrowhead where the temperature was below 10 degrees, and only five since the merger.
Certainly it would be the coldest playoff game in Arrowhead history.
Again, a lot needs to happen to break that record of "0.5 degrees" -- that's frigging freezing, man.
Who would it benefit? It's hard to say. The Patriots have a lot more experience in the playoffs with really cold weather, having now moved their ATS record to 6-6 in games below 30 degrees. Inherently, Tom Brady just has more experience in the playoffs [insert any situation, really] than anyone else, because he has started almost 40 games in the postseason. It's just rare to find someone with more experience doing anything in the playoffs than Brady.
But not many people have experience playing in games this cold. According to PFR's database, the Patriots have played in just ONE game with the temperature below 10 degrees since Brady and Belichick arrived. That's kind of surprising, right? The single game was a Divisional Round matchup against Jeff Fisher, Steve McNair and the Titans in New England back in January of 2004. The Patriots won that game 17-14.
Mahomes certainly got to experience the cold on Saturday in the Chiefs' win over the Colts, a pretty easy victory for Kansas City at home in ugly weather. The Chiefs have the benefit of having a heated field as well, so that should at least help things for both the Chiefs and Patriots. But it might not matter if these temperatures end up actually happening.
We'll see how the storm progresses. But as of now, we could see the Patriots and Chiefs battling it out in very frigid and wintry conditions once the AFC Championship Game rolls around.
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