DENVER (KDVR) — Coors Field sees more than its fair share of wild weather.
There is nothing quite like a picture perfect day at the ballpark. There’s also nothing quite like a storm at Coors Field.
No one knows that better from Chris Vagasky, a meteorologist with Vaisala in Louisville.
“Coors Field is actually the fourth most lightning-prone stadium in MLB. I looked at a four-year period, so almost 10,000 baseball games” Vagasky said.
Vagasky has spent hours studying the data, and he learned there have been around 3,000 lightning strikes recorded near Coors Field during All-Star Weeks over the past 20 years.
“July 9th to the July 13th period — that covers the Fan Fest, the 5k, the Home Run Derby, the Futures game, the All-Star Game — 3,000 lightning flashes happened within 8 miles of the festivities,” he said.
Only Miami, Tampa Bay, and Houston see more lightning historically near their baseball stadiums than Denver. During All-Star Week, Vagasky learned there has been severe weather within an 8-mile radius of the ballpark 14 of the last 20 years.
“Today in baseball, ballparks are tracking the radar so closely,” said Tim Hagerty, a baseball historian in El Paso, Texas.
Hagerty said ballparks do a much better job of monitoring the radar than they did during the early days of the sport. However, it’s still up to the umpire to delay or cancel a game once it has begun.
“The reason is objectivity. A meteorologist is more qualified than an ump to evaluate weather, but what if that meteorologist is a Rockies fan and the Rockies are ahead by one run in the 6th inning,” he said.
There is a chance of rain in the forecast for the All-Star Game in Denver. All baseball fans can do is hope the skies stay clear and wait.