JACSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida–Georgia football rivalry has a long tradition in Jacksonville. It turns out knowing the weather can be a good predictor for the winning team.
The Weather Authority took a close look into the weather archives and compiled weather records for all the games played in Jacksonville since 1938. We promise we are not biased, but based on this weekend forecast the Gators should win.
Dry weather favors a Gator win.
By October those summer storms are long gone and November marks the driest month of the year on average in Jacksonville.
It's no shocker most games played at EverBank Field are in the sunshine but it is surprising a team coming from The Swamp loses more in the rain. Over the last 78 years, the Bulldogs have won more games in the rain especially in heavy downpours.
Georgia won 16 of the 28 games that had a trace of rain or higher and they really excel when the skies dump over .30 inches racking up 8 wins compared to 2 for Florida.
Gators like it cold.
Remember how chilly it was in 2014 when Florida won 38 to 20. It was the coldest FL/GA game where the high only reached 57. In recent decades Gators win more often with temperatures below 70. But looking all the way back to 1938 the split is near equal, 11 Gator wins to Bulldogs 12.
Gators like it hot.
Games got hotter after the switch to October dates in 1992. Matches were typically held in November and only two were over 83 degrees prior to 1986. Since then 8 days have been played in heat 83 degrees or higher.
The Florida Gators have won all but 1 game at 83 or higher since 1970. Ten games in total were played in temperatures 83 or higher. But the Bulldogs won during the hottest game on record in 1948 when the high hit 87.
Our forecast is calling for dry, warm conditions and a high at 84 and the statistics point to a Gator win.
JAX international airport data was compiled using NOAA Climate Data Online. For more local records search here. Away games in Gainesville and Athens were included during the building of EverBank Stadium in 1994-1995. No game was played during the war in 1943.