Saturday NFL Playoff Weather

This is one of the best weekends of the year, Divisional Playoff Weekend.  Maybe that's because I am a Pats fan and my team is usually playing (12th time since 1996) but even in the rare off years the football is excellent.  Weather will impact both Saturday games. Without further ado...

General Weather
Two storms are affecting the Continental US today.  A powerful storm is affecting the Northwest while another storm impacts the Eastern US.  Here is the surface analysis
WPC Surface Analysis 11 am EST
Temperatures in the east are warm and while it will rain in Seattle, the mountains in the Pacific Northwest will get buried with snow.Notice how tightly the isobars (solid lines) are packed together around Seattle and Boston.  This will increase this afternoon/evening

New Orleans (+9.5) @ Seattle Seahawks  (O/U) 43.5  430 EST

Seattle is a difficult place to play regardless of the weather.  Temperatures at kickoff project to be around 45
16z HRRR 2 m temperatures valid 2 PM EST (image Weatherbell)
Temperatures may jump to 47-48 throughout the game but there will be no significant changes.  Rainfall on the hand will increase as the game goes.  There has been a lull so far this morning but the radar looks healthy 
National Weather Service Pacific Northwest Regional Radar Loop (138 PM EST)
Short range high resolution weather models agree on an increase in rain and intensity in Seattle this afternoon
12z NAM hires Simulated Radar 4 PM (image Weatherbell)
The final factor is the winds which will be sustained at 25-30 mph.  Gusts to 50 will be possible with any of the heavier rain bands
12z NAM hires 10 m winds 5 PM EST (image Weatherbell)
Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots (-7.5)  (O/U) 50.5  815 PM EST 
Gillette is also a tough place to play but recent playoff teams have come into Gillette and knocked out the Patriots.  Indy doesn't seem to be the type of team that can come into Gillette and win.  Baltimore and the Jets play tough defense and had swagger across the board.  But Andrew Luck looks legit so you never know.  Here is the current temperatures in New England
RTMA 2 m temperatures 1 PM ESRT (image Weatherbell)
Temperatures are in the upper 50's across Southeastern New England and these aren't going to fall much this afternoon into this evening
12z NAM hires 2 m temps 8 PM EST (image Weatherbell)
At kickoff the temp will be 57 at Gillette and will only fall to 53 or so by midnight.  Considering the Divisional Playoff Game 10 years ago at Gillette was the coldest game in Patriots history we'll take this.  That was the Tennessee game as the Pats won their 13th straight on route to a Super Bowl and a record 21 game winning streak.  

Rain will be a huge factor.  Here is the current radar
National Weather Service Northeast Regional Radar Loop (148 PM)
Short range guidance indicates a steady rain all game with the potential for a soaking rain in the first half. 
17z HRRR Simulated Radar 9 PM EST (image Weatherbell)
With these soaking rains comes high winds.  Sustained winds will be 15-20 mph with gusts up to 50 possible.  A wind advisory is in place from 4-11 PM at Foxboro so winds will also lessen throughout the game.  May want to look at second half lines for this game.  

Enjoy, I will post for Carolina-San Fran and Denver-San Diego tomorrow

-Zack Green


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