Weather Impacts For Both Conference Championship Games

The NFL is fortunate that the NFC Championship will be played in a dome this afternoon.  Many Atlanta Falcons fans and football fans, in general, will be at risk watching the game in the Southeast today. Low pressure is rapidly strengthening along a surface boundary near the FL/GA line.  It will be difficult to get your shine on or cruise this afternoon.  Numerous severe thunderstorms are expected to develop this afternoon and evening as the low continues to intensify.  These thunderstorms will be capable of producing large hail, damaging winds, and strong tornadoes.

This is the same storm system that will bring 1-3" of rain and strong winds to New England Monday-Tuesday.  There are some showers around New England today but these are not associated with the Southern storm.  A cold front is dropping into the region from the North and East, almost in a backdoor fashion.  The second half of the game will likely see a passing shower or two as the boundary of cold dry air meets low-level air that is warm and moist (seasonably).   The cold dry will turn some rain over to snow north of the MA Pike and into S NH/VT.

NFC Championship Game   Green Bay Packers at Atlanta Falcons 3 PM
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has a large area of the Southeast under a High Risk for severe weather including strong tornadoes (EF2 or greater).
SPC Sunday Severe Weather Outlook
The Southeast Regional radar is a sight to behold this afternoon.  So far the rain is south of the Georgia Dome for fans traveling to the game/tailgating.
NWS Southeast Regional Radar
The surface low is developing near the MS/AL line.  It will track northeast into GA between 6-7 PM.  The center will cross near Atlanta around 7 PM.  A ton of rain is going to fall in the Atlanta metro area.  Here is the simulated radar at 7 PM this evening.
16z HRRR sim radar 7 PM (image Weatherbell)
2-5" of rain isn't out of the question in Northern GA to go along with the wind, hail, and tornado threat in SC/S GA/N FL.

AFC Championship Game   Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots 6:40 PM
Certainly, much calmer weather in New England but the game is outside exposing everyone at the game directly to the elements.  Here is the surface chart as of 7 PM.
WPC Surface Fronts/Precipitation Sunday 7 PM
There will be some rain showers around the region but the coverage is isolated until around 8-9 PM.  Widespread shower activity is expected near the frontal boundary.  Gillette Stadium is near the southern edge of the rainfall.
16z HRRR simulated radar Sunday 9 PM (image Weatherbell)
Some snow in Northern Worcester County so if traveling for the game please be careful as it will be slick.  Here is my bi-hourly forecast for the Pats game tonight.

Let's go!!!!!!!! Here is a recap of the 12 previous times the Patriots played in the AFC Championship Game if you want to kill some time before kickoff.

Early Week Storm
I don't have many changes to my blog from yesterday.  The National Weather Service has a great briefing here.  Temperatures will dip to the upper 20's/low 30's north of the Pike tonight.  It will be slick in the AM on untreated surfaces.  As heavy precipitation begins later tomorrow evening a period of sleet, snow, and freezing rain is possible south of the Pike as well but it will quickly go over to rain.  Most areas up to 495 and route 2 will go over to rain quickly.

Portions of Western MA will see a mess of a storm with all types of precipitation.  The absolute latest on the Monday storm in the AM.  One update I do have is I now expect 2-4" of rain.  The NWS has issued a *Flood Watch* for Eastern MA and RI.  I feel this should be extended to S Worcester County.  It may at a later update.
NWS Early PM Headlines 
-Zack Green

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