The Weather Channel has ranked all 32 teams in the NFL by the weather in their hometown. After removing the 10 teams with indoor fields - either domes or retractable roof stadiums - they published their look at the top Five Worst Weather Cities in the NFL.
The top five cities are not at all surprising. Buffalo takes the top spot, with Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Green Bay, and Kansas City rounding out the worst of the worse. About the Miami Dolphins' AFC East division rival Bills' home town, The Weather Channel writes:
Our worst weather NFL city, Buffalo (Orchard Park), wins by a blowout.
Buffalo's total FWI score puts second-place Cleveland and third-place Pittsburgh in the rear-view mirror.
To achieve this lofty status, you have to have multiple weather factors contributing.
Buffalo is by far and away the windiest NFL city. Whether it's strong low pressure over eastern Canada, a Nor'easter along the East Coast, or a simple, potent cold front, wind is part of life along the eastern Great Lakes.
If a lake-effect snowband sets up over Orchard Park during a Sunday afternoon home game...it's must-see television! Buffalo averages 27" of snow in December and another 26" in January! Yes...that's "the norm" there.
While not the coldest NFL city, there's something amusing watching a warm-weather team make a December or even January trip to Buffalo. The Miami Dolphins probably pray each April when the NFL's schedule is released, hoping against a late-season trip to western New York.
The Dolphins do avoid that late season game in Buffalo this year, having played the Bills on Thursday Night Football back in Week 11 at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Of course, Miami lost that game, and the weather was not nearly as bad as it could have been (35°F, 73% hunidity, 5 mph winds, clear), so the late season game in Buffalo did not really matter this year.
Last season, in one of those late season games, the Dolphins played in Buffalo on December 18 in a Week 15 contest. The Dolphins won that game 30-23 despite 31°F weather and snow.
As for the Dolphins' home itself, Miami ranked seventh among non-indoor fields in terms of the worst weather. To most people, Miami is the home of sunshine and great weather, but that is exactly the problem when it comes to NFL weather. The Dolphins' score is hurt by the heat. Those early season games in the Miami sun, which as fans we love to see drain the energy from opponents but hate when it is beating down on us, raises the Dolphins score, which in this case is bad. Add in the likelihood of rain and thunderstorms during afternoon games, and the Dolphins' seventh place ranking makes sense.
The other two teams in the AFC East, the New England Patriots, who the Dolphins play in Foxboro in Week 17 this year, are one spot ahead of the Dolphins with the sixth worst weather. The New York Jets, meanwhile, are actually near the bottom of the league, ranking 18th out of the 22 non-indoor teams.
If the dome cities are added in, since people will be traveling through the weather to get to the game, the Dolphins would fall two positions as the Minnesota Vikings jump into second and the Detroit Lions take the fifth position. Coincidentally, the Arizona Cardinals would be in a tie with the Dolphins in ninth place, meaning the heat would be the primary factor for both teams.