As our Crimson Tide loving friend from the 90s once said ‘You never know what you’re gonna get.’ It’s a pretty fitting description for early April weather in Boston. Much like the Marathon, Red Sox home openers have a pretty checkered past when it comes to the weather. Snow? Sure. Rainouts? Absolutely. Stunning days that seem to defy description? Yep we get that too.
Recently, we’ve been on a pretty good stretch! Not often you can have 3 out of the past 4 years with highs well above 60º by the ocean here next to Kenmore Square. The 72º high temp back on Opening Day of 2010 seems like a dream as we’re just climbing out of our winter doldrums. It hasn’t actually been that warm in the city since November 1st! The only one of these recent home openers that seems ‘normal’ to me when I think of the first game at Fenway is 2011. Some clouds, cool marine air. That’s what we do around here in April.
If you want truly bitter cold, we can at least rest assured that that is difficult to do this time of year. The record ‘low max’ for April 4th in Boston is 30º set in 1889. So we’ve never had a day in the 20s (so long as people have been writing down weather observations in the area) on that date! Okay, maybe that’s not very reassuring. But at least in recent history, the coldest it’s been for a Sox home opener is 41º nearly 20 years ago in 1996. It also snowed. So they had that going for them. Which is (not) nice. 9 of the last 20 have featured measurable rainfall…so it’s about a 50/50 shot that you’ll need rain gear for your first trip to the ballpark in any given year.
That brings us to THIS year’s forecast. It’s been a nice run this week, but sadly our good luck cannot hold for one more day. In fact, Friday is pretty much the only chilly day on our entire 7-Day forecast. Figures. High pressure will be slowly relinquishing its control and sliding to our northeast. At the same time, a warm front will advance from Pennsylvania. The combination of these two features will deliver an onshore wind for the day. This won’t be like the ‘sea breeze’ we’ve had all week, where the cool air is relegated just to the coast. This wind will be more synoptically driven, meaning larger picture weather features will bring the ENE winds across the whole area.
What does all that mean for us? Some early morning sun will fade, the clouds will start to take control by midday, and the afternoon looks overcast. Low-level moisture will also be on the increase, leading to some drizzle likely developing during the afternoon. And then finally, the warm front and some better ‘lift’ in the atmosphere will bring more general rain showers by the 4-7pm time frame.
The ocean is awfully cold right now, running well below average right along the coast. You can thank the frigid winter for that. So when wind comes off that water, it can really bring a raw feel to the air. Bring along your World Series Champions jacket to Fenway if you’re lucky enough to hold a ticket to this one, and it may not be a bad idea to bring a poncho or umbrella too. The chances for rain will be increasing as we had toward Koji-time, and if you’re walking home afterward that chance will be higher still.
Do the Red Sox care what the weather will be? Probably not. They’ve won a record 9-straight home openers dating back to 2005, the first Opening Day after reversing the curse! Oddly, that was the first Fenway home opener I’ve ever attended. Won’t forget that one…the weather was breezy (see: rumpled W.S. flag on the Monstah), I managed to get a pair of tickets by hammering away at the phone lines, and took my Dad to see the World Champion Red Sox receive their rings. Highlight of the day besides the dry weather? Spontaneous cheering of Mariano Rivera. To this day one of my favorite all-time Red Sox memories.
Todd Gutner will be out there early in the morning with our WBZ Morning Team talking about any last minute tweaks that may be necessary, and again at noon. I’ll be out there after the game starting at 5p so you can throw tomatoes at me if it starts to rain. But a good time will be had by all, and hopefully the Sox give us something to remember more than the weather when this thing wraps up!
Many reasons to cheer in 2013. Let’s hope the good times keep rolling in 2014.