How the weather could impact the NFL’s Kickoff 2021 game

TAMPA BAY, Fl. – When we think of the weather impacting a football game, we often hear about southern teams travelling north to play a game in the snow or a dome team playing in hot, humid conditions…both of which could be less than optimal for the visiting team. But tonight’s weather conditions in Tampa Bay could give both the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Dallas Cowboys some challenging conditions.

The reason? A cold front and a former tropical storm.

A cold front (the one that dropped rain across South Central Kentucky earlier in the week) and tropical depression Mindy, now off the Georgia/South Carolina coast, are still pulling showers and thunderstorms out of the Gulf of Mexico across Florida. Along with those showers comes wind. Specifically, southwesterly winds. Raymond James Stadium, home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, sits with a north-south orientation and is not a dome. That allows winds blowing from the southwest to potentially hook into the stadium through the south end zone. And for the team that has to pass or kick from the northern half of the field into the wind, the tropical flow could create headwinds.

The opposite could be true for the team kicking and passing from the southern half of the field…winds blowing in from that south end zone could help propel the ball further. It could be too much of a good thing, too, should a sudden breeze cause a quarterback to over-throw to his receiver.

We’ll know as the night progresses…right here on NBC News 40!