Through extreme heat, frigid cold and everything in between, the league is notorious for playing through some brutal weather conditions.
If Mother Nature sticks to the typical playbook, forecasts already have a good sense of which games could be the coldest, warmest, windiest and even snowiest.
Here are the seven games to watch during the 2023 NFL season.
Warmest potential game
After many sweltering preseason games, the first matches of the regular NFL season will kick off in mid-September.
The New York Giants are scheduled to take on the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on Sunday, September 17.
Days in the desert Southwest are typically warm, with highs that reach the low 100s. The climatological high in the Phoenix metro is 100 degrees, but the city reached 109 degrees back in 2020.
Fortunately for fans, Glendale’s stadium has a retractable roof that is usually closed, and there is typically plenty of air conditioning blasting in the arena.
Fans in Tampa, Florida, may also crave some relief from the heat when the Buccaneers take on the Chicago Bears, but unlike in Arizona, there isn’t a roof over Raymond James Stadium.
The September 17 match will be in the running for having the hottest on-field temperature if climatology wins out.
An average high in Central Florida usually reaches nearly 90 degrees, which does not take into account the humidity.
Humidity values in Sunshine State are typically high, making a 90-degree day feel like 100 degrees or even warmer.
Coldest potential game
The coldest game appears destined to be at Lambeau Field when the Chicago Bears take on the Green Bay Packers during the final week of the regular season.
The NFL has not announced a game time, but the match is slated to happen on Sunday, January 7, 2024.
According to climate data, a typical early January day in Green Bay sees a low of around 12 degrees and a high that only reaches the mid-20s.
Depending on which large-scale weather features are in control, it is not unheard of for temperatures to never get above zero and for lows to reach -30 degrees.
The cold air doesn’t take into account a potential wind chill, which makes prolonged exposure to the elements even more dangerous.
An average winter day with a slight breeze can make temperatures feel like they are in the teens.
The Chicago Bears could be in unique standing playing in both the coldest and warmest games of the regular season, with neither game indoors.
If the team’s September game in Florida reaches the normal high temperature and the winter game can only reach 26 degrees, there will be a 64-degree difference between the two matches.
Rainiest potential game
Florida’s daily thunderstorm activity in the late summer and early fall could help make the September 24 match between the Denver Broncos and the Miami Dolphins one of the rainiest-prone games of the year.
On a late September day, South Florida averages around .35" of rainfall a day, according to National Weather Service historical data.
Mainly due to the thunderstorm activity, no other city hosting NFL games sees as much rainfall as Miami and averages more than 60 inches of rainfall a year.
Unfortunately, the rain usually comes from storms, which tend to produce plenty of dangerous lightning.
Hard Rock Stadium says when lightning is detected in close proximity, officials encourage the public to seek shelter and game operations are suspended.
Windiest potential game
If normal weather plays out, prepare your anemometer for the January 7, 2024, meeting of the New York Jets and New England Patriots.
According to NOAA data, winds average 12.6 mph in eastern Massachusetts during the first month of the year.
Winds not only have a significant impact on the kicker’s ability to get the ball through the uprights, but the force of Mother Nature can also impact the betting line before the teams even see the field.
Chicago’s claim to fame as the "Windy City" doesn’t hold weight during the early part of the year, as cities such as Buffalo and New York City tend to have higher wind speeds.
Snowiest potential game
Snow fans might have to wait until the final weeks of the regular season to see the frozen precipitation potentially play havoc with a game.
If Old Man Winter holds true to his norms, the rematch of the Patriots versus the Bills could have the most snow on the ground.
Buffalo, New York, averages around an inch of snow daily during late December.
The snow rate ranks ahead of cities such as Chicago, Minneapolis and Denver, which will also be hosting games.
Due to the impacts of lake-effect snow, Buffalo sees around 95.4 inches of snow annually.
First game of the year under the night’s sky
The first game of the year that will kick off after sunset is the primetime matchup on September 10 between the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.
The Sunday night game will start at 8:20 p.m. EDT, which is over an hour after sunset.
The 82,500-capacity stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, does not have a roof, meaning players and fans are exposed to the weather and sky conditions.
As the season progresses, more and more games will kick off without sunlight because of the shortening of days between the summer and the winter solstices.
The subtle change in light may have more of an effect on the body than meets the eye.
Medical experts say a change in light and time can affect a body’s circadian rhythm.
A study published in the journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that football players who can control their sleeping patterns had an advantage during games.
Most hurricane-prone game
A phenomenon that many weather enthusiasts consider their Super Bowl of the year is the hurricane season, which coincides with when football enters regular play.
The peak of the Atlantic hurricane season is September 10, with most activity occurring between mid-August and mid-October.
The threat from tropical cyclones has forced teams along the Gulf Coast and Southeast to previously relocate games to ensure fans are kept safe and to minimize stress on community resources devoted to the natural disaster.
In September 2021, the New Orleans Saints moved their home opener versus the Green Bay Packers to Jacksonville, Florida, to avoid the impacts of Hurricane Ida.
Hurricane Irma in September 2017 forced the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to reschedule their football game with the Miami Dolphins.
And in September 2008, Hurricane Ike triggered the Houston Texans to postpone its home game with the Baltimore Ravens to later in the year.
In what is likely a stroke of luck with the 2023 team schedules, very few franchises that reside in high-impact hurricane zones have home games on the statistical peak date of the cyclone season.
The one city that doesn’t have the fortunes of the others is New Orleans.
The Tennessee Titans are slated to play the Saints at Caesars Superdome at 1 p.m. on September 10 – making it statistically the most hurricane-prone game of the year.
The amount of peak season impacts is higher than what all other NFL cities have experienced since the start of the league in 1920.