It's mid-February, and already we're starting to think about the 2014 NFL season. Those are the hooks you have in us, Roger Goodell.
More specifically, we're thinking about what the weather might be like at TCF Bank Stadium next year when the Vikings move outside.
For an example, we looked back to the 2013 season and what the weather was in Minneapolis on days the Vikings had home games. Now remember, they started with two games on the road and their second “home” game was actually in London. Then came their bye week. So they only had seven games at the Metrodome, and their second wasn’t until Oct. 13, which is unusual.
Still, here’s a look back via Weather Underground at how things would have played out if the Vikings were outdoors in 2013, divided into four categories:
Sept. 22 vs. Cleveland: Noon game, high of 74, low of 49. No precipitation.
Oct. 13 vs. Carolina: Noon game, high of 61, low of 39, no precipitation.
FALL FOOTBALL WEATHER
Oct. 27 vs. Packers: 7:30 p.m. game, high of 58, low of 31, no precipitation. Around 50 at kickoff, still above 40 at the end of the game.
Nov. 7 vs. Washington: 7:25 p.m. game, high of 36, low of 28, no precipitation (below average temps). Around 32 at kickoff, below freezing by game’s end.
Dec. 1 vs. Bears: noon game, high of 34, low of 21. 30 at kickoff, 34 at game’s end, no precipitation.
Dec. 15 vs. Eagles: noon game, high of 4. Low of minus-1. No snow.
Dec. 29 vs. Lions: noon game, trace amounts of snow. Around zero degrees at kickoff and throughout the entire game.
Like we said, in most years there would be more true home games early on ... and temperatures are usually about 20 degrees warmer, on average, on Dec. 15 and 29. So 2013 would have been about the worst-case scenario -- unless the Vikings make the playoffs, in which case all bets (and fingertips) are off.