Miami Dolphins games in Florida could see impacts from Hurricane Lee
Hurricane Lee is expected to lose some strength by the end of the week as it approaches the New England coast on a path that remains uncertain, but what it loses in strength, it will gain in size.
That doesn’t mean much for South Florida, which is still far from Lee’s threats, unless you’re a Miami Dolphins fan.
While Florida’s Panhandle will also be saved, Florida’s Seminoles may not be saved.
The two teams are scheduled to play games in the Boston area this weekend. FSU takes on Boston College on Saturday at noon. The Dolphins and New England Patriots play Sunday at 8:20pm at Foxborough Stadium.
As of Monday afternoon, Lee’s 5-day forecast track cone included Boston on its far western edge, with the center of the storm off the coast at 2 pm Saturday. The cone could engulf more areas of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine in the coming days.
National Hurricane Center Director Michael Brennan said Monday that the hurricane’s winds from Lee extended 75 miles from its center. Tropical storm force winds extended 185 miles.
While Lee, which was a Category 3 storm on Monday, will downgrade to Category 1 by the end of the week, Lee will swell in size, he said.
“The peak winds are declining, but the size of the wind field will continue to grow by 50, 60 or 70%, perhaps 300 miles from the center,” Brennan said. “This means that even if Lee remains offshore New England, there could still be high winds, heavy rain, coastal flooding, high waves and strong rip currents.”
Meteorologist Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground and a writer for Yale Climate Connections, said he doesn’t think the Dolphins’ game Sunday will be affected.
“But Saturday’s college game is likely to see wind and rain from Lee,” Masters said.
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Florida State athletic officials were monitoring the situation Monday. The forecast path will be better understood once Lee swings around the western edge of the Bermuda High, likely late Tuesday into Wednesday.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty until it heads north,” said Kyle Pederson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Boston. “The models don’t seem to show a direct effect.”
If Lee followed the path set Monday down the center of the cone, he would fail to make landfall in Massachusetts, but Maine was a possibility.
However, Pederson noted that storms travel outside the forecast track cone about 33% of the time.
The Hurricanes have impacted previous Dolphins and FSU games
If this weekend’s games are rescheduled, it wouldn’t be the first time hurricane season has forced a calendar change for the state’s football teams. Hurricane Andrew in 1992 caused the September 6 season opener between the Patriots and Dolphins to be rescheduled to October 18.
Hurricane Ivan in 2004 brought forward a game between the Tennessee Titans and Dolphins by one day.
A year later, Hurricane Wilma forced the Kansas City Chiefs’ game against the Dolphins to be moved up by two days.
Most recently, Hurricane Irma in 2017 moved the Dolphins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers from September 10 to November 19. Irma also forced the University of Miami-FSU game to be moved from September to October.
Kimberly Miller is a veteran journalist for the Palm Beach Post, part of the USA Today network in Florida. It covers real estate and how growth affects the environment of South Florida. Subscribe to The Dirt to get a weekly real estate report. If you have news tips, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Help support our local journalism, subscribe today.