When people think about weather and baseball, rain and lightning is often the only concern. But weather has a much more important influence on baseball, beyond when to call it quits. Air pressure, wind, temperature and humidity all have an important connection to baseball too!
Here’s how they play into the equation:
- Air pressure – Air pressure is dependent on the elevation of a region and the current weather conditions. It is one of the most important factors in determining how far a baseball will travel in the air, all else being equal. Higher elevations mean the air has a lower density, and in these conditions, baseballs can travel further. Air rubbing against a baseball creates friction, so when air density is low, the frictional force becomes smaller.
- Wind – Wind can either increase or decrease the amount of friction a baseball experiences during flight. Air flowing toward the ball will cause it to slow down, reducing its flight path. Air flowing with the ball helps it reach farther distances.
- Temperature – When air warms, it expands, causing a decrease in the air density. This can produce longer flight distances for the baseball.
- Humidity – At the same temperature, air with a higher dew-point will be less dense, helping baseballs travel farther through the air.
Remember, the optimum conditions to hit a home run are: high elevation, wind blowing out, warm and humid air. Swing, batter, batter, swing!
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The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team