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Kansas City Chiefs • Miami Dolphins • NFL • National Football League

The upcoming Kansas City Chiefs vs. Miami Dolphins game is poised to be one of the coldest in NFL history. Let’s explore how it measures up against other chilly encounters in the league’s history.

The Kansas City Chiefs are advising fans to bundle up for the upcoming game at Arrowhead Stadium against the Miami Dolphins, set to be one of the coldest in NFL history. Meteorologists predict brutally cold conditions with temperatures around 0 degrees Fahrenheit at kickoff and a bone-chilling wind chill of -22 degrees. Throughout the game, sustained winds of 15 to 20 mph and gusts up to 40 mph are expected, further intensifying the cold. By the game’s end, the temperature is forecasted to drop to -2 degrees with a wind chill around -23 degrees.

The National Weather Service anticipates the current high temperature for Kansas City on Saturday to be around 5 degrees, potentially breaking the record for the coldest high temperature on this date. The existing record for January 13 is 9 degrees, set in 1982. Meteorologists warn of “dangerously cold” weather in the Kansas City area through the following week.

Despite the extreme conditions, officials are unlikely to cancel the Chiefs-Dolphins showdown, as the NFL has never canceled or postponed a game due to low temperatures. Fans in attendance are permitted to bring blankets, and Arrowhead Stadium will offer warming stations and hot chocolate to help combat the cold. However, there is a significant risk of frostbite for spectators not adequately bundled up, with meteorologists cautioning that frostbite can occur in approximately 30 minutes in forecasted wind chills.

In the northeast, the National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning affecting the Buffalo Bills game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Orchard Park, New York, on Sunday. Although not as cold as Kansas City, Buffalo will experience game-time temperatures in the low 20s with a wind chill just above 0 due to strong gusts. Highmark Stadium, the Bills’ home turf, now permits spectators to wear battery-heated clothing for added warmth.

While conditions for the Chiefs-versus-Dolphins game are expected to be frigid, there is a curiosity about how this weather compares to past games played in extremely cold conditions.

Coldest NFL game on record: ‘The Ice Bowl,’ December 1967

coldest football game on record
Green Bay Packers fans cheer on their team at Lambeau Field in the 1967 NFL championship game.

The coldest game in NFL history occurred on New Year’s Eve of 1967 when the Green Bay Packers triumphed over the Dallas Cowboys 21-17 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, as reported by the NFL. The air temperature on that day plummeted to -13 degrees, accompanied by a bone-chilling wind chill of -48. Such extreme conditions led to the game being famously dubbed “The Ice Bowl.”

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Former Packers fullback Chuck Mercein vividly recalled the frigid atmosphere, likening it to being inside a meat locker. Describing the scene in the stands, Mercein noted that all one could see was the steam emanating from people’s mouths, underscoring the severe cold endured during the NFL Championship game.

‘The Freezer Bowl,’ January 1982

The AFC Championship game of 1981, which occurred on January 10, 1982, earned the moniker ‘The Freezer Bowl’ due to the sub-zero temperatures on game day, as noted by the Cincinnati Bengals’ website. Despite an air temperature of -9 degrees and wind chills reaching a staggering 59 below zero, the Bengals emerged victorious with a 27-7 win over the San Diego Chargers at their former home, Riverfront Stadium in Ohio.

NFC First-Round game, January 2016

On January 10, 2016, the Seattle Seahawks secured a 10-9 victory against the Minnesota Vikings in one of the NFL’s coldest-ever games. The air temperature for the 2015 Wild Card game, held at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis (while the Vikings’ current indoor home at U.S. Bank Stadium was still under construction), plummeted to -6 degrees, accompanied by a wind chill of -25 degrees, according to the NFL.

NFC Championship, January 2008

NY Giant quarterback
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning during the NFC Championship football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, January 20, 2008.

On January 20, 2008, despite subzero temperatures, the New York Giants overcame the Green Bay Packers with a 23-20 overtime victory at Lambeau Field in Wisconsin. The teams faced off in the NFC championship amidst air temperatures of -1 degrees, with a biting wind chill of 23 below zero, as reported by the NFL.

The NFL’s Cold-Weather Game Day Protocol

NFL teams have specific procedures in place when anticipating snowy or cold weather conditions on game days. As outlined in the NFL’s Game Operations Policy Manual, each home club is required to have a snow-removal plan, ensuring the removal of snow and ice from various areas, including the field, stands, aisles, pedestrian ramps, walkways, parking lots, and sidelines before every game.

The manual specifies that this protocol applies in the presence of any chance of precipitation, and fields must be covered with a tarp on the day and night preceding a game. Additionally, the league’s policy mandates the availability of heated benches for both teams, which must be activated two hours before kickoff if weather conditions necessitate it.

This post originally appeared on CNN

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