PGA Day 2: Wind & Heat

The wind showed up at Hazeltine today.

As expected, a stiff south wind is a major factor at the PGA Championship. Winds are gusting to 25 mph as of mid-afternoon. Players are battling to keep the ball in the fairway. The gusts are even affecting putts. The greens will dry out fast on a day like today.

The hourly observations at Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie near Chaska show a steady base of 16 mph with gusts to 25 mph. I expect a few gusts may approach 30 mph this afternoon.

It’s also a hot wind today. Afternoon temperatures will top out in the lower 90s today. Combine that with dew points in the 60s and the fact that players and spectators are out in the sun and you’ve got a recipe for heat related fatigue and illness. Unfortunately I expect the medical staff at Hazeltine to do a brisk business of heat related calls today and Saturday.

The webcam at the Minnetonka Yacht Club on Lake Minnetonka shows the flags extending in the hot breeze today. At least the breeze will help make it feel somewhat cooler today.

I was amazed at the microclimates at Hazeltine during my visits this week. It was at least 20 degrees cooler in the shaded bleachers at the 16th green than anywhere in the sun. If you are in the shade and the breeze it is tolerable. But if you are standing in a crowd of hot people trying to get a glimpse of Tiger in the sun, it’s downright unbearable.

At least the wind will help dry things out a bit in western Wisconsin. The rain that moved through the southeast metro last night stalled out dumping 4 to 6 inches of rain, causing a flash flood around Mondovi.

Enjoy the sun and warmer weather near the lake if you can today and Saturday. Our next chance for storms rolls in Saturday night and Sunday.


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