If you couldn't tell by reading my blog over the past couple of weeks, I am a huge Phillies fan and this baseball post season has been the most memorable since 1993 when the Phils won the pennant. As for winning a world championship, their only one was back in 1980, when I was only a few months old...so all I have are old newspaper articles and photos to look back on from that. It only seemed a matter of time before the weather would play some sort of roll in the World Series, interestingly enough causing Game 5 to be suspended in the middle of the 6th inning. Yes, this is the first time in history a World Series game has been stopped a little over midway through and it appears the conclusion of the game will take place on Wednesday. Before I give you the forecasts that were leading up to this game (and yes I do have family that live in the Philly area who took very good notes for me), lets lay out the weather situation.
As you may remember over this past weekend, a strong cold front blew through the Wisconsin River Valley causing blustery winds and on Monday the first measurable snowfall in the Northwoods. Along with this front at the surface, a large trough in the jet stream was working southeast across the plains toward the Appalachians. This type of set up not only only draws chilly air down south out of Canada, but also is favorable for the development of strong areas of low pressure. Sure enough as this trough pushed toward the east coast on Monday afternoon, cyclogenesis was occurring off the Virginia coast. Although looking at the satellite and radar on Monday morning, the casual observer would think nothing was amiss, there indeed was a clear sign of a baroclinic leaf, which is an early indicator of low pressure development, shown over eastern PA down into northern Virginia. Light rain which was slowly pushing east toward Philadelphia in the late afternoon, arrived over Citizens Bank Park just around the start of the game. The winds were already brisk and the rain began to intensify by the 4th inning as the low was deepening off the Delmarva coast. Somehow the umpires let them play through the top of the 6th before finally coming to their senses to stop the game. Should they have stopped the game sooner? Probably. By the same note, if they had and the Phillies were still ahead, would that have been the right way to end the World Series? Most likely not, but I would suggest that the commissioner have these scenarios actually in the rulebook and not make these kind of decisions on the fly. Nevertheless, this intense low has tracked up into New York City through Tuesday afternoon, and had drawn enough cold air into the region for snow be to flying at times in Philly. As for the rainfall, it appears the tally will be close to 1.50" by the time all is said and done. The winds however are still rather blustery and with temps in the 30s on Tuesday night, the conditions were still far from ideal for a game. Thus the game should continue on Wednesday with drier conditions, although chilly temps.
Now on to the forecasts that were being made. I'll start with my own, which definitely figured on the rain beginning close to the start of the game and once it did, the odds were looking slim they would be able to make it to the 5th inning since the rain would be heavy at times. Meantime, some forecasting outlets broadcasting in the Philadelphia area (which will remain nameless) were for some reason more optimistic. One of which can be heard on the local news radio station was predicting "perhaps some showers during the game, but the heaviest rain will happen after midnight...so they should be able to get the game in". Meantime another forecast didn't even mention rain at all, just "mostly cloudy and breezy with temps falling into the 40s by the 5th inning"...later in the day that was modified to "a few showers". Yikes!! Finally, there was at least one forecaster that literally said on air during the 6pm news, "I don't know how they are going to be able to get this game in..but it is up to the commissioner". Kudos to that veteran meteorologist for providing the best forecast. I know hindsight is 20/20 and I don't claim to make perfect forecasts, but I think this wet and windy scenario was likely to play out and impact the game. To those fans that didn't come prepared with the wet weather gear, I feel your pain. For now, it's the conclusion of Game 5 on Wednesday night...hopefully with a Phillies win!
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