Hailing from Washington, I can happily confirm that yes, as you may have heard, it rains quite a bit there. Somehow, though, we mostly get by just fine. Now, a University of Washington meteorologist has run the numbers to find that our NFL team has not only found ways to live with the rainy, wet conditions that are par for the course in the Northwest — they actually thrive in them. The playoff-bound Seattle Seahawks are more likely to win home games in rain or snow, and not by just a little.
Though the factors behind it are ill-understood, statistically speaking, home field advantage is no myth — most teams, regardless of how good or bad they may be, tend to be a bit better at home, and the Seahawks are no exception. In fact, the power of the force that home field advantage can seem to confer is always in the air. Part of it is the mythos of the 12th man — Seahawks fans who fill the stadium — but part of it is actual physics. CenturyLink Field –nee Qwest Field — was built to be loud. It’s relatively small size and clamshell shape mean that crowd noise echoes and reverberates through the stadium, causing confusion and
Considering how much rain Washington gets, it’s perhaps not surprising that the Seahawks seem to be able to turn dreary weather to their advantage, though, whether it’s because they’re better at catching rainslick passes or because the other team can’t get out of bed due to a sudden onset of weapons grade winter blahs is anyone’s guess. The numbers don’t lie, though. Thanks to University of Washington meteorologist Nick Bond, we know that Seattle has a respectable 42-25 record at home under a dry sky, winning games by an average of 5 points. When the clouds open up, though, visitors should watch out — not only do the Hawks have a stupid good record of 17-4 in those situations, they tend to embarrass their opponents, outscoring them by an average of 12 points per game.
What is surprising — especially to anyone who has experienced an autumn in Washington — is that in the last 10 years, the Seahawks have only played 21 home games while it’s raining or snowing. That seems low, but it may be a sign that the one thing Washingtonians never thought they would ask for — more wet weather in the fall — could be a great thing for the Seahawks. Do I sense a rain dance coming on, Seattle fans? Let’s make it happen.
(via University of Washington)