Dolphins season opener could be delayed

Hurricane Irma potential tracks - Image courtesy of FOX4
Hurricane Irma potential tracks - Image courtesy of FOX4 /

The Miami Dolphins open next Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Miami. It’s the first home opener to start the season for Miami in three years. And it may not happen.

Way down in the tropics by the Leeward Islands is a storm that is churning westward and could impact South Florida next weekend. The storm, Irma, is currently a category three hurricane that is expected to grow in size as it hits the warmer waters of the Caribbean.

Landfall in the U.S. is not guaranteed but a high pressure system is dropping south from Bermuda while the jet stream is moving south from the northwest of the states. It is looking to form a trench off the eastern United States.

Forecasting models do not show a definitive path for Irma and it is expected to turn North at some point in the next week. Tracking models will be more accurate by mid-week but the Dolphins and the NFL are paying attention.

image courtesy of WEST news
image courtesy of WEST news /

While South Floridians are tracking the storm, the NFL is also keeping an eye on the storm. If a South Florida landfall occurs the NFL will need to move the game. There are several options. One could be to move the game a day earlier but that is not ideal as the city will be trying to prepare for the hurricane to make landfall.

Another option would be to play the game on Monday night but the NFL already has two games scheduled for Monday night. It’s not ideal but not impossible. Of course if the hurricane does impact S. Florida then moving the game forward one day could hinder community efforts.

The other option is moving the game to week 11. The Dolphins have a late bye week and share that weekend off with the Buccaneers. The game could simply be scheduled then. It’s not ideal for either team but has happened in the past. A Dolphins Patriots season opener was cancelled and rescheduled to a bye week later in the year as both teams held the same off week.

For now it’s a matter of waiting and watching. If the storm continues on its West-Northwest path Miami could be in for a major impact. Of course if other models hold true, the city of Miami may escape and real concerns as the forecast model below shows.

image courtesy of Fox News hurricane watch center.
image courtesy of Fox News hurricane watch center. /

How this storm reacts to the high pressure system and southern dropping jet stream will dictate its path. The Dolphins, who are currently working with the community for Harvey relief efforts should begin to step up plans of their own. Of course so should anyone on the United States eastern seaboard. That long red spaghetti strand? Well if you follow its inward path, that’s where I am. So I too will be watching this storm very carefully.