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VIDEO: One NWS Office Tries a Different Tactic to Warn Locals of Cold

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Cold weather is no stranger to football games, and the National Weather Service (NWS) wants you to know that it’s important for fans to be ready for it.

But on Friday, the NWS tried a different way to get the word out. Just as star athletes are commonly used to help endorse consumer products, the NWS tapped into Minnesota Vikings center John Sullivan to deliver a message about staying warm at Vikings and NFL games this winter:

With bitter cold gripping Minneapolis and virtually the entire upper Midwest all week, it’s an appropriate time to remind fans about the dangers that being outside in extreme cold for an extended period can present. Three years ago, a high school football game on Long Island, New York was postponed after 15 players had to be hospitalized with hypothermia. Temperatures much colder than the 20-degree wind chills that affected that game will be present for many of this weekend’s college and NFL games, so be sure to dress warm if you’re heading out.

The Vikings themselves, meanwhile, aren’t at TCF Bank Stadium this weekend as they’ll be battling the Bears in Chicago on Sunday at Soldier Field (noon CT kick), but temperatures there won’t get out of the 30s with light snow possible, especially at the beginning of the game and for pre game festivities.

But after Sunday’s road contest, the Vikings return home for three straight home games. Minneapolis’ average high temperature in December is just 27º, and TCF is an outdoor stadium. For the previous 31 years, the Vikings played in the indoor Hubert Humphrey Metrodome, where the temperature was obviously regulated – and also likely a factor in the NWS’ decision to get a Minnesota Vikings player to drive home the message about staying warm.

Make sure to put an extra parka under that jersey come Sunday (and every Sunday, when appropriate)!

Meteorologist Chris Bianchi

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