We like to have a little fun on Fridays during Good Morning Washington and today's theme is obvious with the Nationals playoff game. I did some digging to find out how the weather might impact the game and came up with some fascinating information.
We all know weather can impact the players and their ability to handle the ball. Some of the obvious include rain and wind. But, did you know that air pressure, temperature and humidity all affect how far the baseball can travel?
- (Weather and Baseball)
Let's start with temperature. If we don't consider how the cold or heat makes the player feel, having hot weather can make for better action. When the air is warm, the air expands and rises. This lowers the density of the air and allows the ball to go faster and farther. Temperatures during the game today will be in the mid to upper 70s and in the 60s on Saturday.
- (Temperatures and Baseball)
Nationals Park is located in beautiful Washington, D.C. right along the Anacostia River. Seems like a great central location, not to mention a pretty view. Here's a snapshot from Google Earth.
- (Google Earth)
However, whoever decided to build the ballpark there probably didn't consult a meteorologist. Why, you ask? When considering atmospheric pressure, it's not ideal. The park sits at sea level where there is friction at the surface and pressure is higher. When air pressure is lower, a baseball can travel at a greater distance. A baseball hit at the exact same angle and speed at Coors Field in Denver, Co., (the mile high city) may travel 20 to 40 feet farther!
- (Baseball and atmospheric pressure)
Considering the humid air today with milder temperatures and the colder, breezy day expected on Saturday evening, weather and physics tell me the Nationals are hitting some home runs today! For the updated forecast for both games, check out our other blog here. If you're interested in more information on weather and baseball there is a great interactive website here by NASA that is especially cool for kids.