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.
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.
Milwaukee Brewers opening day lineup, along with beat writer Todd Rosiak’s roster ranking for each player. Lou Saldivar
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