JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – This Sunday's Jaguars game could be one of the top 20 coldest games the Jags have played out of their over 350 games. Kickoff is set for 1:00p.m. in Cleveland against the Browns.
Chief Meteorologist John Gaughan said to expect game time conditions to be brisk with Northwest winds gusting between 25-40 mph as wind chills range from 15-25° and temperatures at the start of the game will be around 37° and drop to around 32° by the end of the game. Although the forecast models show less of a chance for this, a brief snow or rain shower is possible.
The biggest weather impacts during the game will be the wind, wind chill temperatures, and the actual temperatures just above freezing with a good chance of a snow squall. There is no significant snow accumulation is expected. There will be some sun mixing with cloudy gray skies.
A snow squall is a sudden and intense burst of winds and moderate to heavy snow that may last up to 20 minutes. Snow flurries are similar but not as long lasting. Snow flurries may last only minutes with gusty winds and light to moderate snow.
The Jaguars are not ignoring the fact that they'll be playing the game in conditions they rarely see. Quarterback Blake Bortles weighs in on his mentality facing the cold frigid forecast, “It definitely influences the game plan a little bit. I think it will definitely have an effect on some of the things you can’t do in 20 degrees and 25 miles an hour winds, which affects a little bit of your passing game, special teams, kicking, stuff like that. I feel like we have a good plan for it. I think it’s something that’s hard to prepare for, especially coming from Florida and simulating that cold weather and playing in that. We got a chance to go play in Buffalo last year, it was not quite as cold but close to it. I don’t know. I don’t know how you prepare for it. I think you go there and wear whatever is comfortable and try to keep warm and go play football.”
The Coldest Jaguars Games, Ever
One of the coldest games that the Jaguars have played was the AFC championship game in Foxboro, Mass on January 12th, 1996. The Jaguars were excited to be in the playoffs and squared up against the New England Patriots.
The temperatures only topped out at 36° that day and News4Jax anchor Tom Wills was there described how bitterly cold the game was, "The game was SO COLD... I had tears in my eyes." He recalled the frigid feeling coming through his boots from the frozen, hard ground. He did mention that the Jags' loss that day made the bone chilling cold ALL the more unbearable.
Looking back at the Jags weather history, the standout worst weather season (especially for cold) was 2007. They played in Pittsburgh, twice and then New England as they made a deep run in the playoffs. All three games were played with temperatures just above freezing with snow, or rain in all three (although the precipitation was light).
The Jags won both their games in Pittsburgh (regular season game they won 29-22 and the playoff game 31-29). New England was a different story, as again, temperatures hovered in the 30s. The Jags lost 31-20. New England went on to lose in the Super Bowl 17-14 to the New York Giants and their coach Tom Coughlin.
The worst weather location for the Jags is strangely, Cleveland., where the Jags play this Sunday.
The Jags have played six (6) November/ December games there, yet no playoff games. The warmest game played there was back in 2013 when it was a balmy 57°F under cloudy skies. Yes, you read that correctly, that was the nicest November-December game played in Cleveland, just 57°F.
But the worst weather played in Cleveland? Kind of a toss-up between December 4th, 2005 where the game temps were in the upper 20s, with light winds and 1-2" of snow (also the snowiest the Jags ever played in) and the Jags won 20-14.
The coldest game in Cleveland? January 3rd, 2009 where game temperatures were in the teens (16°F), wind chills just above zero with very light snow falling.
But the all-time coldest game? Was played not in Minnesota (indoor) or Detroit (indoor) or Buffalo, or Green Bay or Chicago, or New England, it was...
December 17th, 2000, in Cincinnati, a massive cold front passed the night before and temperatures plunged all day, during the game winds were out of the west up to 30 mph, as temperatures hovered around 10°F. Wind chills were below zero the entire game, the field was frozen solid. Jags lost 17-14.
If you are watching the game locally, expect more pleasant conditions, but not perfect. A cold front will push through Southeastern Georgia and Northeastern Florida on Sunday, making for cloudier skies and isolated chances for showers. The showers ahead of the cold front will most likely be breaking up as they pass over our area, but the heating during the afternoon hours could help them regenerate, especially along the coastline.
We will start out the day mostly cloudy, with over 70% cloud cover. After noon, the clouds begin to break up with just over 50% cloud cover for the next few hours. The skies clear more dramatically around 6 p.m. as the cold front pushes through, and cloud cover drops to less than 20%.