Saturday, August 04, 2012

Feeling the Heat at NFL Camps

Every year at this time, we hear stories about how bloody hot it is at NFL training camps. Recently, ranked the 10 Worst Weather NFL Training Camps. So, how did arrive at their rankings? The author of the story can explain it much better than I. Plus, it's really late here at The Rainout Blog World Headquarters, and I'm a bit lazy tonight.


We used five factors to arrive at our ranking for each NFL team. Temperature related elements such as average high temperature (85 degrees being neutral for exercise), average dew point (above 63 degrees as the defining point for it being muggy) and percentage of hours above 85 degrees. The higher the percentage, the longer the duration heat will have a detrimental impact upon a football player’s body. That percentage is even more critical during two-a-days: one practice is in the morning and the other in the heat of the afternoon.

The two cooling factors, no matter the temperature, are cloud cover and wind. As we have all experienced, standing in the shade is much preferred to standing in the sun when it is hot. For cloud cover, we used the percentage of days where skies are overcast. Direct sunlight may add as much as 15 degrees to the heat index.

A moderate breeze has a cooling effect on the body by evaporation of sweat during exercise. We took the mean wind speed and average daily max wind speed together so as to not discriminate against locations where wind speeds pick up in the afternoon due to local topography or coastal breezes.

It's not surprising most of the teams in the ranking are located in the southeastern part of the United States, including the Texans, Titans, Falcons, Panthers and Redskins, who train in Ashburn, Va., where temperatures reached 100 degrees last week on the first day of camp.

You know, training camp heat is tough on the fans too, as you can see in this Washington Post photo gallery of Redskins camp.

I'm sure Redskins players and coaches, but not so much the un-invited fans, are thankful for the team's new practice bubble, which can allow the team to sometimes escape the heat and those pesky, fast-approaching thunderstorms.

In the meantime, listed the Texans' camp as the toughest, calling it the NFL's Iron Man Camp. Here are statistics from to back up the claim:

July/August average high: 93 degrees / 93.5 degrees

July/August % of hours above 85 degrees: 36% / 36%

July/August average dew point: 74.5 degrees / 74 degrees

July/August % of hours with overcast sky: 5% / 4%

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