It appears the media has taken my usual weather angle for the start of the World Series. By now everyone knows its going to be hot in Los Angeles for Game 1 this evening, so I guess I’ll just have to dig a little deeper to bring something interesting.
Believe it or not an area of high pressure (also called a ridge) sitting over the west is responsible for both the beautiful weather we are seeing in Houston and the heat in LA. The clockwise flow of air around this high is causing northerly winds in our area, bringing us cooler/dry air. That same high is causing a north-easterly wind flow in Southern California resulting in Santa Ana winds.
In this set up air blows over the mountains to the east of LA and then descends down the other side. As it descends air pressure increases, due to lowering altitude, and the air compresses causing it to heat up. The result is a very warm and dry wind blowing into Southern California. This is a primary factor for the weather conditions in LA over the next few days.
Although the temperatures will be near 100 degrees I don’t think it will be as bad as it sounds. The humidity will be very very low which makes the heat a bit less taxing on the players (compared to the type of 100 degree heat we are used to here). I actually think these conditions are preferable to the 40s and 50s the Astros had to deal with in New York.
On the science-y side I have seen people mention stats that show games played in temperatures above 90 degrees average 1 more home run than games played in cooler temperatures. That makes total sense since warmer air is less dense than cooler air and thus exerts less friction/drag on a flying baseball. However, on the flip side dry air is more dense than humid air, so the lack of humidity tonight may counteract some of the benefit high temperatures give to fly balls. Although the media is making a big deal out of the weather tonight, it is actually far more conducive to pure baseball than the typical weather we see during a World Series.
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