The only storm around last night’s Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves game was a savage tweetstorm when the game was delayed for three hours and five minutes without any major rain. Scheduled to start at 7:05, it began at 10:10 PM. Needless delays cause a terrible fan experience but the ones caused by an over-abundance of caution can today be mitigated by using the most advanced weather technology available. I’m not talking about only your traditional radars and satellites.
Nowcasting — or short-term forecasting — means that you can see the weather, 1–90 minutes in the future, at your particular baseball park, with 90% certainty. The newest nowcasting technology uses a brand new source of data in its predictions — inputs from the nationwide infrastructure of wireless networks.
The trouble with relying solely on last century’s weather observation technology (radar and satellite) to predict the weather is that such forecasts can easily be wrong 50% of the time. Technical limitations mean that those tools cannot see everything going on, plus they update their observations too slowly to keep up with rapidly changing weather systems.
Here’s a great explainer from the Washington Post on how the Nationals make weather decisions.
It’s not just baseball that’s affected by inaccurate forecasts. Also near Washington, DC earlier this week, a soaked pro golfer made the news for not taking his rain gear to the Quicken Loans National. According to Golf Digest, the golfer said, “It said zero percent of rain all day. Like no chance of thunderstorms at all.”
The HyperCast Dashboard is a new way to prevent the weather from being the wildcard — or the news — at sporting events. Get the most updated information on the near future’s hyper-local weather, down to the stadium, ballpark, or green. Learn more.