Storms, Heat to Affect First College Football Games of the Season

By Brian Lada, Meteorologist
August 31, 2013; 2:43 AM ET
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Strong thunderstorms and blazing heat may pose extra challenges for some college football teams this weekend with many teams playing their first game of the season.

Not only will the players need to battle the elements, but so will the tens of thousands of fans attending each game.

Mississippi State wide receiver Robert Johnson (12) reaches for a pass during an NCAA college football practice in Starkville, Miss., Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013. High humidity mixed with high temperatures have marked most of the football training camps this summer. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

While some games were played Friday night, most of the college football games will be held on Saturday.

Showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast across much of the eastern United States over the weekend, affecting a plethora of games from New England through the Southeast.

Even though storms on Saturday are not expected to be severe, lightning can still lead to stoppages in play until the storm has passed.

Additionally, rainfall from showers and storms can result in poor field conditions for the players, especially for those playing on grass fields.

While storms will threaten games in the East, intense heat in the Plains could lead to hazardous conditions on the field.

Even though the heat wave in the Plains is expected to break down over the weekend, temperatures will still manage to climb well into the 90s with some spots and will make a run toward triple digits Saturday afternoon.

Forecast Temperatures for the Start of Football Games

Game
Forecast Temp
(degrees F)
Massachusetts @ Wisconsin
78
Purdue @ Cincinnati
85
Buffalo @ Ohio State
85
Northern Illinois @ University of Iowa
89
Wyoming @ Nebraska
94
Mississippi State vs. Oklahoma State (@ Houston)
96

While fans may find much discomfort in the stands during the game under the blazing sunshine, the players on the field will feel the full brunt of the heat.

One of the hottest games will be Mississippi State playing Oklahoma State in Houston, where the temperature at kickoff is forecast to top out at 96 degrees.

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The strenuous activity of the game can quickly lead to dehydration if players do not remain hydrated enough throughout the game.

On top of the high temperatures, helmets and padding that players wear will trap in body heat, increasing the risk of heat stroke.

Weather has already caused a variety of disruptions across the nation this week.

The ongoing heat wave in the Plains forced many schools to take action for the safety of the students by either ending classes early or canceling school altogether.

Meanwhile, heavy thunderstorms in the Northeast on Wednesday led to delays in the U.S. Open, being held in Flushing, N.Y.

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