With Super Bowl LI taking place in Houston on Sunday, February 5 in a stadium with a retractable roof, weather will not play a role in the game as the NFC champion Atlanta Falcons take on the New England Patriots, the winner of the AFC. There will be plenty of people traveling into the city and surely checking out the many sites in and around the “Space City” so the weather will potentially play a role when planning these activities and travel.
Looking at the weather pattern for this week before the Super Bowl in Houston, temperatures should run well above average for the last few days of January and the start of February. The jet stream will be well to the north of the Lone Star State, keeping arctic air well to the north as well.
Rainfall amounts should be below normal as a low pressure system is well to the northwest of Houston, too far away to cause rain most of the week. The position of the low pressure system will result in a humid southeast flow off the Gulf of Mexico, causing some low clouds, drizzle and fog each day, especially in the morning. High temperatures each day will reach well into the 70s with low temperatures only dipping into the mid 50s. These readings are about 10 degrees above average. Any organized, steady areas of rain should hold off to the day of the game as a cold front associated with the area of low pressure passes through. The southeast wind off the Gulf of Mexico will be responsible for the well above average temperatures expected.
Here’s how the weather impacted key moments of the 2016 season:
Week 2 Sunday, Sep. 18
Cincinnati Bengals 16 @ Pittsburgh Steelers 24
A light, drizzly rain fell, especially in the 1st half. The Steelers fumbled 3 times while the Bengals fumbled twice. The passing game may have been affected as the matchup of All-Pro wide receivers A.J. Green and Antonio Brown only resulted in 6 catches for 77 yards combined for the 2 players.
Week 3, Sunday, Sep. 25
Los Angeles Rams 37 @ Tampa Bay Bucaneers 32
Officials suspended play during the two-minute warning with the Rams facing third-and-11 from their own 5-yard line. Fans were asked to clear the stands and seek coverage in stadium concourses before the approaching thunderstorm passed directly over the field, dumping heavy rain.
Week 4, Sunday, Oct. 2
Denver Broncos 27 @ Tampa Bay Bucaneers 7
For the 2nd consecutive week, heavy rain and nearby lightning caused a stoppage in the game. With 6:52 remaining in the 4th quarter, play was suspended for 1 hour and 26 minutes due to a thunderstorm.
Week 10, Sunday, Nov. 14
Kansas City Chiefs 20 @ Carolina Panthers 17
A steady rain fell in Charlotte, NC and may have played a role in a sloppy game, featuring interceptions for both teams as well as 2 fumbles for Kansas City and 1 by Carolina.
Week 11, Sunday, Nov. 21
Pittsburgh Steelers 24 @ Cleveland Browns 9
On a bitter cold and blustery day with wind chills in the teens, throwing the ball was difficult. Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell finished with 146 yards rushing. “We knew with the weather we had today that he was going to have to be big for us,” said Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlsberger, who improved to 20-2 in starts against Cleveland.
Week 13, Sunday, Dec. 5
San Francisco 49’ers 6 @ Chicago Bears 26
On a day where about 2 inches fell of wet snow fell during the game in the Windy City, the sloppy conditions may have played a role in neither team compiling a pass in the first quarter — something that hadn’t happened in an NFL game since the Jets and Patriots did it on Nov. 13, 1988, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Week 14, Sunday, Dec. 12
Pittsburgh Steelers 27 @ Buffalo Bills 20
The start of the second half was delayed for nearly 10 minutes because of a buildup of rubber pellets that accumulated along the sidelines. The piles of pellets, which are part of the artificial turf, gathered up when tractors swept the field of snow during halftime. Workers were required to use blowers and shovels to push the pellets further off the field.
Week 15, Sunday Dec. 19
Green Bay 30 @ Chicago Bears 27
The game-time temperature was 11 degrees with a minus-4 wind chill which ranked it among the coldest games ever in Chicago. The Bears hosted the Packers in 3-degree temperature and a minus-15 wind chill — the lowest ever for a Bears home game — on Dec. 18, 1983. The Bears’ coldest home game, temperature-wise, was against Green Bay on Dec. 22, 2008, when it was 2 degrees with a minus-13 wind chill.