PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Usually the baseball season is synonymous with the start of Spring time and the warmer weather and we usually are ready to wear the short and T-shirts to the ballpark. However this year it is going to be a cold afternoon for baseball, one that we might like more in October than April. While it is going to be cold this afternoon and we might think to ourselves this has to be one of the coldest Phillies opening days in a long time, I am here to tell you
that you are right…sort of.
This year the forecast high temperature for the Phillies Home Opening game is 50°. That 50 when you put it in the context of just typical climatology for the day is already 10 below where we should be for April 5th. When you put it in context of baseball season it is even more off the mark than that.
To understand how far off from normal we are this year and how it stacks up to years past in baseball, you have to travel all the back to 1883 when the Phillies franchise was born, as the Philadelphia Quakers. The start of baseball in Philadelphia almost predates the start of weather record keeping in the city.
The earliest weather records that we have for the Philadelphia region go back to 1872, so only 11 years longer than the start of baseball. The point of that is to tell you that baseball in Philly has been going on for a very long, and there have been quite a few home opening days. Back to the point of this whole post now, where does 2018 stand from a weather perspective in the grand scheme of the 135 year history of the Phillies/Quakers franchise.
As stated the forecast high today is 50°. On average over the last 135 years the average temperature on opening day here in Philly sits basically at 63°. This would mean that while 50 is 10 degrees lower than the average for the day, it is 13 degrees lower than the typical Phillies Home Opener temperature. If everything goes according to the forecast and we do hit 50 today that would tie the 9th coldest home opening day temperature in franchise history.
The last time it was 50° for the home opener in Philly, was 2004. Over the 135 times that the Phillies have played a home opening game, the temperature was in the 50s 37 times. This is the second highest total of any temperature range on record, only being beaten out the by the 60s which has happened 50 times. We have reached the 80s 8 times in home opening history with the warmest temperature being 88 which we hit 2 times, once in 1896 and again in 1941. The last opening day in the 80s was 2010. The coldest range of temperatures for opening day here in Philly was a temperature in the 30s, which only happened 1 time when we only got to 39 in 1935.
So what does all this tell us? Well it means that we are going to be dealing with a cold opening day that is, if all goes as forecasted, likely be tied for a top 10 coldest Phillies home opener in franchise history. So make sure you are bundling up and taking the heavier coats, gloves and scarves with you down to the bank this afternoon.
Here’s to a Phillies victory this afternoon.