Are You Paying Attention to the Weather at Football Games?
by Daphne Thompson, on Oct 20, 2017 1:58:26 PM
How much time do you spend buying food and drinks for tailgating? How much time do you spend to make sure you have everything you need to be in a stadium for hours? How much time do you spend on checking the weather forecast for the game? I hope you were able to answer all three questions with numbers above zero. Paying attention to the forecast should be more important than the dry rub you plan to use or whether you have your seat cushion for the stadium.
A cold front will move into central portions of the country on Saturday. By mid-afternoon, isolated thunderstorms are likely to develop along and just ahead of the front, and some supercell storms will be possible. Large hail, damaging winds, and a few tornadoes are all possible. The highest severe risk is currently centered over Oklahoma, far northern Texas, and southern Kansas. In addition to the severe risk, areas of excessive rainfall will likely lead to flooding issues for some locations.
SPC Thunderstorm Outlook for Saturday, October 21, 2017
One of the games potentially impacted by these storms will be the Oklahoma Sooners versus the Kansas State Wildcats in Manhattan, Kansas at 3PM. While the highest threat is in Oklahoma, North Texas, and Southeast Kansas, Manhattan is not outside of the severe risk area. Storms will be a possibility in the area of Synder Family Stadium for most of the game. Last week storms delayed Kansas State’s game against TCU nearly 3 hours.
RadarScope Image from TCU vs KSU Game Delay
Even after the game, heavy rains will provide a flooding risk from Kansas to North Texas. Sooner fans driving home from the game need to remain weather aware as flooded roads, strong winds, and heavy rain will be hazards for much of the drive back to Norman.
If you are planning to attend any college football games in the area outlined in the map above, you need to stay aware. Now is the time to make a plan and know where the safe spots are for the sake of your safety. Evacuating a large sporting complex can take time, so it's best to take action as quickly as possible. It is critical when you are in a stadium that monitors the weather and personnel tell you to evacuate, do so. If you see lightning or hear thunder, move to shelter. In a stadium, you should go into an enclosed area. If outside tailgating, you should shelter in a vehicle.
Lightning at TCU vs KSU Game
The fact is, stadiums are not at all safe to be in during thunderstorms. With high seating decks, tall light posts, and large empty parking areas around them, it is not uncommon at all for lightning to choose to discharge through them. Tailgate tents may shelter you from rain, but they do not hold up well to strong winds or hail. And this is not an issue just concerning football; outdoor soccer, baseball, golf, and tennis are also sports where fans need to be more aware of the weather.
Next time you go to a game, pay attention to the weather. If you are in charge of the event, WeatherOps can help. If you're only in charge of your personal safety, RadarScope and Weather Radio can help you make appropriate decisions at a great price point. While I enjoy watching football, it is not more important than my life. Taking the proper precautions will assist in making sure you can see more football games to come.