Weather Education Day at Safeco Field
As Mariners broadcaster Rick Rizzs says, “it was a beautiful day for baseball,” on Wednesday, as the Mariners prepared to take on the Chicago White Sox. But before the game, on a rare sun-splashed June afternoon, some 5,000 students from Puget Sound area schools gathered at the ballpark to learn about the Northwest’s changeable weather.
KOMO 4 Lead Weathercaster Steve Pool talked to the kids about what makes our weather so unpredictable, and about the differences between weather and climate. With the help of the HD MarinersVision screen, Pool quizzed students on their weather knowledge. The students learned that despite Seattle’s reputation for rain, Miami is actually the rainiest city in America. They found out that hurricane, typhoon and cyclone are three different names for the same weather condition. And that yes, it is true that no two snowflakes are alike.
Next up, Scott Sistek, KOMO Meteorologist and blogger, explained how weather affects baseball games. According to Sistek, cold dense air slows down a flying baseball. When the weather is warm, balls can travel farther and faster. For example, for every four degrees warmer, a ball travels one foot father. When it’s 81-degrees, a ball will travel four feet farther than on a 65-degree day, and a hitter has a 10% better chance of hitting a home run on a warm day than a cold one.
Mariners broadcaster Rick Rizzs talked about some crazy weather experiences when we was broadcasting in the minor leagues in Amarillo, Texas, including a wind storm that was so powerful it blew six-inches of dirt off the stadium’s infield.
Then Ted Buehner of the National Weather Service, and Charley Burns, a Department of Natural Resources firefighter, told students about how their two agencies work closely together to predict and fight fires. Burns, dressed in full fire-line gear including helmet, shovel, flame-resistant shirt and pants, and smoke-jumper boots, demonstrated how he could unpack and take cover in a portable fire shelter within the 25 seconds, the time a firefighter on the lines would safely have to take cover.
After the program, students were treated to a hot dog lunch, and a beautiful day for baseball at Safeco Field.