Inclement weather – or a lousy spring – impacts MLB games, farmers

Inclement weather – or a lousy spring – impacts MLB games, farmers

CHICAGO — If you’ve been to a Major League Baseball game in an open-air stadium this year, congratulations. Many of you have lived through some of the coldest temperatures to grace the diamond since records were first kept in 1871. It’s what baseball delicately calls “inclement weather,” and what the rest of us call a lousy spring, reports CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds. 

Snowfalls and wind chills are now part of the big league lexicon along with runs, hits and errors. There have been a record 28 April MLB postponements from rain and snow so far. It’s spring – even though fans are fit for polar expeditions. Minneapolis could have had a winter carnival for the last month.

If you have to lay blame, try the jet stream, which plummeted much lower and stayed longer than usual across the region. But the wintry grip may be loosening.

CBS News spoke with Jamie Enderlen of the National Weather Service alongside the facility’s still-standing snow fence.

“So does it look like we’re finally done?” Reynolds asked.

“It looks like for the next seven days we don’t have any snow here in Chicago land,” Enderlen said.

Warm weather would be welcome down on the farm. Corn planting hasn’t even begun yet in eight states – Ohio, Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – where it was well underway a year ago, according to the USDA.

In Illinois, Bob Bleuer and his son, Jeff, are two weeks late getting to his frigid 1,800 acres.

“The soil temperature’s not warm enough,” Jeff said. The ground thermometer was stuck in the 30s last week, 20 degrees below what a seed needs.

Over the years, we’ve been with Bob and his family through droughts and floods. Now, it’s the cold.

“We just got to deal with Mother Nature on a day to day basis,” Bleuer said.
 
The Cubs are set to play at Wrigley Field this weekend, and it’s supposed to be cold with a chance of rain, but no forecast of snow. Next week, it’ll be May – and surely it won’t snow in May, right?

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Rain to threaten more MLB postponements in northeastern US

Rain to threaten more MLB postponements in northeastern US

A storm with rain and spotty thunderstorms will spin slowly northward this week.

Off-and-on rain is in store for most locations over a two-day period. The steadiest rain is likely during the first part of the storm, when gusty winds are likely to accompany a chilly flow of air off the Atlantic Ocean.

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Static NE Rainstorm Tuesday Wednesday

A few locally heavy, gusty thunderstorms may occur in parts of the Chesapeake Bay region and perhaps in Delaware and southern New Jersey.

The storm will affect everything from road and airline travel and construction projects to outdoor recess at schools, after-school practice, outdoor lunch plans and baseball games.

As of Sunday, April 22, there have been 27 MLB games postponed so far this season due to rain and snow. This sets a new record for the number of MLB game postponements through April, breaking the previous record of 26 games set during the 2007 season.

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Static MLB AP Jays Indians

Fans wait out a rain delay in a baseball game between the Cleveland Indians and the Toronto Blue Jays in Cleveland on Saturday, April 14, 2018. (AP Photo / David Dermer)

The most recent postponement was caused by the same rainstorm destined for the Northeast. A game originally scheduled at Atlanta between the Mets and Braves is now slated for May 28.

The Detroit Tigers have had the most postponements so far with six games. Four other teams have had four games postponed: The Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees.

The Tigers may have another game postponed at Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. Games at Cleveland, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Baltimore and The Bronx are also at risk for delays and/or postponements. It is possible that rain will hold off until the later innings or after the game ends at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Depending upon the speed of the storm, postponements in the Northeast are less likely on Wednesday. However, some delays due to brief showers are still possible.

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Static US Midweek

Motorists should allow extra time for their commutes beginning in part of the mid-Atlantic on Tuesday and New England and New York state on Wednesday. Pedestrians will need an umbrella and a pair of waterproof shoes to get around.

Airline passengers should anticipate minor delays related to a low cloud ceiling, turbulence and locally heavy rain.

The rainstorm may come as a relief to some people since many of the storms in the past six to eight weeks have delivered snow to parts of the region.

Rainfall and moisture in the air from the storm will diminish the risk of wildfires in the region.

April to early May is notorious for brush fires since the air is often dry, temperatures climb and dead winter brush is plentiful.

Rainfall from this storm should help to spur a surge in green-up of vegetation.

Stream and river flooding are not anticipated from this storm, due to the prior three- to five-day stretch of dry weather in most locations. This includes portions of West Virginia that experienced flooding last week.

However, enough rain may fall at a fast enough pace to lead to street and poor drainage area flooding. This is mostly likely where winter debris in gutters and catch basins have not yet been removed by cleanup crews.

Wrigley Field: From snow to sunshine in 3 days

Wrigley Field: From snow to sunshine in 3 days

Winter weather caused the Cubs to postpone their home opener Monday. But on Thursday, it was as if the Cubs were playing in a totally new ballpark.

The snow was long removed from Wrigley Field. Three days later, the North Side ballpark radiated in the sun as if it were a new place.

Wrigley Field is a prime example of how unpredictable and bipolar Chicago springs can be.

On Monday, there was a light dusting of snow that covered most of the exposed level-100 seating area. Slush piled up in the aisles and stairwells. On the field, there was roughly three inches of snow and icy conditions.

When Kyle Hendricks threw out the first pitch against the Pirates Thursday, it was 74 degrees with winds blowing at 14 miles per hour northeast. That’s roughly 40 degrees warmer than Monday’s temperatures, which were recorded in the mid-30s with wind chills even colder than that.

Is this a sign that summer is right around the corner? Who really knows in Chicago.

Bundle Up! Brewers home opener forecast is cold

Bundle Up! Brewers home opener forecast is cold

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As the Milwaukee Brewers get ready for opening day, the Miller Park maintenance crew is busy making sure the retractable roof is in proper working order. Mike De Sisti / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Barbecues popping up like mushrooms all over Miller Park lots Monday won’t just be for grilling hot dogs and hamburgers.

They will double as heaters as Brewers fans huddle for warmth over their sizzling burgers and brats.

The forecast calls for temperatures a few degrees above freezing mid-morning Monday as baseball fans begin streaming into Miller Park for the home opener. Parking lots open at 10:10 a.m. and the stadium gates open an hour later.

First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. with Zach Davies on the mound for the undefeated Brewers vs. the St. Louis Cardinals.

With such brisk temperatures, it’s likely the Miller Park roof will be closed. But for the thousands of hardy tailgaters standing around coolers filled with beer, tossing baseballs and footballs and munching hot dogs and potato chips, it will be cold so the best advice is to bundle up. And that goes for the guys who wear shorts throughout the winter.

The normal high and low temperatures for Monday in Milwaukee are 48 and 32 degrees. 

It looks like it will be a quiet, but cold, day Monday before some nasty weather is expected to roll in. Winds will start to pick up later in the afternoon with wind chills expected in the low 30s, according to the National Weather Service.

There’s a chance for a wintry mix overnight Monday into Tuesday, likely after midnight, said John Gagan, a National Weather Service meteorologist based in Sullivan.

“It might start as a mix of rain, snow and sleet. But in the Milwaukee area in particular, you’ll warm up enough during the day (on Tuesday) that it will be mainly rain,” said Gagan. “I don’t think it will be a washout, but it’s a day to bring the umbrella.”

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Don’t expect spring-like weather to show up soon. The long-range forecast calls for unseasonably cold weather through mid-April with temperatures at least 10 degrees below normal for this time of year.

It’s Canada’s fault.

“We are just stuck in a pattern. Our flow of air is coming from Canada, which will set up a persistent delivery of reinforcing shots of cold air,” Gagan said. “The patterns are locked in, they’re not moving and that’s unusual.”

Since the Brewers home opener is always in late March or early April, weather conditions have fluctuated widely throughout the years:

  • April 3, 2017, high of 49 degrees, low temperature of 42, 0.73-inch of rain.
  • April 4, 2016, 34 and 26 degrees, trace of rain and snow.
  • April 6, 2015, 47 and 32.
  • March 31, 2014, 58 and 34, trace of rain.
  • April 1, 2013, 37 and 26.
  • April 6, 2012, 48 and 33.
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Milwaukee Brewers opening day lineup, along with beat writer Todd Rosiak’s roster ranking for each player. Lou Saldivar

 

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