Rain may soak NFL season opener in New England as Patriots host the Steelers

NFL Officials Prepare for Possible Bad Weather

Players and fans are getting ready for the first week of the NFL regular season, kicking off on Thursday night in New England and ending on Monday night along the West coast.

The first game of the regular season may be drenched with heavy downpours, but this will not be an indication on how the weather will play out for a majority of the opening week games.

Thursday Night: Soggy Season Opener Possible in New England

The wettest game of the week may be Thursday night's game in Foxborough, Massachusetts, when the Superbowl Champion New England Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The highly anticipated game is set to kick off at 8:30 p.m. EDT, but it may do so in the rain.

"The NFL Season Opener could feature unsettled weather as a cold front approaches New England from the west," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Edwards said.

"Showers and thunderstorms will become more widespread throughout the afternoon and evening hours across central and southern New England, allowing temperatures to cool to around 73 F by kickoff," Edwards continued.

Fans attending the game should take a raincoat or poncho with them and pay attention to any announcements pertaining to the weather, especially if a thunderstorm is approaching.

If a thunderstorm moves over the stadium during the game, the NFL may decide to delay the game due to the threat of lightning strikes.

A similar situation occurred during the season opener in 2013 when lightning caused the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos to be delayed for 34 minutes until the storm passed.

Wet weather will impact not only the fans in the stadium, but also the game strategies of the teams that are playing.

The rain affects the way that players handle the football and the condition of the field, resulting in different play selections and coaching strategies by the teams.

People at the game can monitor when the rain will start and stop, as well as how heavy the rain will be by using AccuWeather MinuteCast®.

Sunday Afternoon: Storms May Visit East Coast Games

A majority of NFL games will be played on Sunday afternoon and should largely be rain-free.

This includes the season openers in Denver, Chicago, Dallas, Houston and along the West coast.

However, some of the games being played along the East coast may experience a few showers and potentially game-delaying thunderstorms.

People planning to attend the home openers for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Jacksonville Jaguars may also want to plan to bring along some rain gear.

"A sharp dip in the jet stream will push a cold front into northern Florida over the weekend and with this will come a chance of showers and thunderstorms from Tampa through Jacksonville," AccuWeather Meteorologist Randy Adkins said.

However, Adkins warns that there is some uncertainty with this system and the rain that it may spread over the Sunshine State on Sunday.

The NFL games in Florida on Sunday will not be the only games in the East that may have unsettled weather.

"Indications are that a potent storm system will push across the mid-Atlantic over the weekend, bringing the chance for showers to the New York City area," Adkins said.

This could affect fans heading to MetLife Stadium to watch the Cleveland Browns play the New York Jets and potentially those in western New York attending the Buffalo Bills game.

However, Adkins said it is unlikely that a heavy, drenching rain will fall across the region on Sunday. Instead, it will likely be lighter showers with a few thunderstorms around as well.

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Those a bit father south in the Nation's Capitol at the Washington Redskins game should also prepare for the potential for some wet weather.

"More clouds than sunshine is expected for the greater D.C. metro area [on Sunday] with showers and thunderstorms possible," said Adkins.

Similar to the game on Thursday night, those heading out to any of these games should keep in mind that lightning from nearby thunderstorms could cause the NFL to delay the game until the storm has passed.

Even if there are no thunderstorms, wet weather will be pesky to players on the field, fans in the stadium and people tailgating during the hours leading up to the kickoff.

Monday Night Football: Dry Weather to Dominate

Monday night is featuring a doubleheader for the opening week of NFL regular season play.

The first of the two games on Monday night will be played in Atlanta where the Eagles will play the Falcons in the Georgia Dome.

Since the game is being played in a dome, the players and fans will not have to worry about the weather impacting play.

Fans tailgating before the game shouldn't have to worry about the weather either with dry conditions forecast to dominate the Atlanta area on Monday. Temperatures will be in the lower 80s leading up to the game.

The last game of opening week will be played on the West Coast and similar to the game in Atlanta shouldn't face any issues with the weather.

The Minnesota Vikings are traveling to Levi's Stadium in Santa Clare, California, where they will play the San Francisco 49ers.

This Week 1 finale will be played under the cloud-free sky of the Bay Area, typical conditions for this time of year.

Fans headed to the game can expect near-perfect weather for the first game of the season with the temperature at kickoff around 70 F, then falling into the 60s during the game.

For a detailed forecast for each NFL football stadium across the country, check out theAccuWeather Football Weather Center.

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