As the heat of summer approaches, many baseballs will be soaring over the fence. Below are five ways on how weather plays a role in baseball.
Air Density Can Dictate How Far a Ball Travels
Coors Field in Denver, Colorado is known around baseball as being a hitter-friendly park. The reason for this is due to the elevation because the air density is lower. The heavier the baseball, the slower it comes off the bat which means it won’t travel as far. Coors Field is one mile above sea level, which sets it apart from the other 29 stadiums.
Air Temperature Can Change a Baseball’s Trajectory
A simple fly out in in April could be a home run in the middle of July. This is because the ball does not travel as far in cooler and drier air, which typically occurs in April and early May. As the heat and humidity increase during the summer months, hitters find it a bit easier to hit home runs. Have you ever watched a fly ball hit in April that looks like it could be a home run and then suddenly it’s in the outfielders glove? It happens often to many hitters, and this is because the ball travels further in the heat and humidity.
The Difference Between Warm & Cold Temperatures Can Affect a Pitcher’s Grip
For a pitcher it can be more difficult to grip a baseball in chilly weather. This tends to occur early in the baseball season in April. The reason for this is because if the pitchers hand is slight numb or cold, it affects the feel of the baseball. Hot and humid conditions can also affect the grip. If a pitchers hand begins to sweat, the ball can be harder to grip.
Cloud Cover Can Reduce the Visibility of a Baseball
When a baseball is hit in the air, it can typically blend in with the clouds. If there is a solid shield of clouds over the stadium, and a bit of sunshine is breaking through, it can make the players have trouble with keeping track of the baseball. This can also affect the reaction time for the players as the ball falls quickly.
Wind Can Cause Issues For Players
If gusty winds are occurring, it can cause quite an issue when the baseball is hit in the air. Outfielders tend to have it worse because their positions require the players to cover a lot of space, so a simple shift in the baseball’s trajectory due to the wind can become quite problematic.
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Thanks for reading!
– Meteorology Intern Steven Matregrano