Thursday, December 12, 2013
It’s a chilly afternoon across southern Maine and the feel of late fall is certainly evident. This time of year we can flip from mild to cold in a matter of hours.
Game 1 of the World Series starts tonight and even if you're not a fan of baseball, you can't help but know this is a big deal for Boston and all of Red Sox Nation. This is the 4th time the Sox and the Cardinals have played since they first met in the 1946 series.
Back then the series started on October 6th and ran 7 games until the 15th. The chances of cold weather that time of the year was far less than starting a series on the 23rd of the month and potentially going through the last day. The Sox of course lost that 1946 series and would not win until 2004 when they swept the same team.
Tonight is going to be a chilly night for baseball. There is no doubt the game will be played as even if a few showers are around for the first pitch, the rain will be moving out, rather than in. You will want to have a warm jacket, but it's not going to be April baseball cold. The radar below shows the rain showers staying south of Fenway Park this afternoon.
We don't have great records of World Series weather prior to the 1970s as tracked by Major League Baseball, so it would take looking at the date of the games and where they were played and then digging up old records to have all the weather data since the series began. This isn't something readily available.
However, the coldest World Series I could find was back on October 22nd 1997 when the Florida Marlins played Game 4 against the Cleveland Indians weather more conducive to skiing than baseball. At first pitch, the temperature was 38 degrees with a wind chill of 18 degrees. Snow flurries fell throughout the game and there were even patches of ice on the field.
In Fenway at 7PM as folks are getting settled, the skies will be cloudy, there is the risk for a spot shower and temperatures will be a raw in the lower 50s and falling slowly. The clouds will actually help to keep temperatures from falling too quickly. Whenever I go to Fenway, the heat of the crowd tends to keep temperatures a bit warmer in the Park. As soon as I have stepped outside onto Lansdowne street, the mercury drops.
It has certainly been colder for baseball and April in these parts often yields very chilly and wet weather. Another very cold World Series game took place back on October 10th 1979. While it was snowing here in southern Maine, one of the earliest measurable snows on record, there was a cold rain in Baltimore. When the Pittsburgh Pirates took on the Orioles for game that year, the temperatures were in the lower 40s and a light rain was falling.
On the other end of the temperature spectrum was an 81 degree reading for game 5 back in 2003. That year the Marlins beat the Yankees. Game 5 was played in Miami, so it stands to reason it would be warm.
The rest of the week looks dry and chilly with temperatures only in the lower 50s and nighttime readings falling back into the upper 20s and 30s. For many of us, the heat is now on and much of the garden put to bed. It's time to watch the Sox win another series, after all, they haven't lost a World Series Game since 1986.
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David Epstein has been a meteorologist for more than 25 years. He spent 16 years in Boston and currently freelances at WGME13 in Portland.
In 2006, David founded GrowingWisdom.com, a business producing educational and marketing videos for the green industry. He currently is a professor at Framingham State College, teaches Jan Plan at Colby College and owns Bloomscapes Inc., a landscape design business.
David authored "Gardens Of New England" and his work has been published in Grolier's Science Annual for 10 years. He lives in South Natick, Mass., and has a summer home in Harpswell.