WEST MICHIGAN — With the arctic cold air and snow moving into West Michigan this morning it has many thankful that they don’t have to venture outside to brave the elements, but for some hearty Midwesterners it is a right of passage.
When the Green Bay Packers take on the San Fransisco 49ers this afternoon at Lambeau Field thousands will be braving the frigid cold temperatures to cheer on their team.
It’s nothing new for Packers fans, but what makes this game unique is that it has the potential to be one of the coldest NFL games in history.
Lambeau Field is no stranger to extreme weather conditions; six of the top fifteen coldest games have been played there and when it comes time to kick off this afternoon it may make for lucky number seven. With a polar air mass in place over the Midwest temperatures are forecast to drop well below zero and many Midwestern cities are expecting the coldest temperatures in more than ten years.
Temperatures around kick-off will likely be in the single digits with winds dropping feel-like temperatures to around 13 below zero. As the game goes on and the sun sets temperatures will start to fall below zero with wind chills reaching to around 21 below zero. But as cold as that sounds it is still far from the coldest NFL game ever played.
The two coldest games in NFL history took place at Lambeau Field in 1967 (dubbed the Ice Bowl) and Riverfront Stadium in 1982 (dubbed the Freezer Bowl). Which of these two games is the coldest is a hotly debated because actual temperatures were coldest in Cincinnati but when winds were taken to account it technically makes the Green Bay game colder.
The Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Green Bay decided to tackle the debate and came to the conclusion that the Ice Bowl was likely the coldest game on record. Here is a look at their findings:
So even if today’s game doesn’t beat the all-time record it will likely sit in the top five coldest NFL games and regardless of the temperature it is for certain there will be at least one die-hard Packers fan wearing a cheese hat and green body paint.