Twins-Texas lightning close call Sunday; “Heat Attack” fades

Thankfully you don’t see this every day.

Check out the video of a close call from a lightning strike that hits all too close to the Twins Rangers game in Texas Sunday. Players, umpires and fans scurry as the sharp crack of thunder reverberates through The Ballpark at Arlington.

Lightning and thunder send Rangers and Twins running for cover (Video)

Sunday night’s Texas Rangers game in Arlington against the Minnesota Twins was delayed abruptly due to a sudden arrival of thunder and lightning, sending both teams and the umpires running for cover.

It happened in the top of the fourth inning with one out and a Twins runner on first as Rangers pitcher Roy Oswalt was about to deliver a 2-2 pitch to Twins batter Ryan Doumit. The lightning flash was followed by an immediate (and very loud) crash of thunder, indicating it was very close to the ballpark, and that sent players of both teams and the umpires heading for the dugouts.

The game resumed play after the weather delay, which lasted 44 minutes.

Crazy and dangerous stuff.

Check out the precision lightning location imagery from the Twin Cities branch of Telvent-DTN that seems to show the lightning strike hitting the upper deck canopy, and a second branch hitting very near the center field wall. It’s very, very fortunate no one was injured by the strikes.

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Source: Telvent DTN

My thanks to Tony Dello at Telvent-DTN for the image and info below.

Hello Paul,

I work at Telvent DTN in Burnsville and we have archived lightning. So I went searching to see where it hit. Looks like the stadium directly. I know Target Field has lightning rods on it’s canopy, but not sure about Rangers Ballpark. Imagine they do due to storms in that area many days of the year.

The box is around the red dot which is the lightning strike itself. There’s the one I have highlighted which was likely the parent strike on the upper deck canopy. You can see the time of the strike and it was 70 kA. I’m a little leery of the one in centerfield, I’m educated guess is since the details of that one were just about the exact same time as the other one was that it might have been a branch of the main strike since it was under 45 kA. But none the less it looks like that one might have hit something like a flagpole or something tall near or just outside of the centerfield fence.

Very lucky no one was hurt or hit since it was right at the stadium and no other strikes around the stadium tonight. Hopefully, if they do have them, that it hit the light rod or something that grounded it. Interesting night.


Tony Dello

“Heat Attack” Breaks: Classic summer week ahead

Last week’s brutal heat wave is mercifully history for Minnesota and much of the Midwest.

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Source: NOAA

A much cooler and more comfortable air mass is easing into Minnesota from Canada today and Tuesday. The direr air features comfy dew points int he 50s, and that feels great compared to early July’s brutal heat wave.

Hottest in 24 years?

By one measure, last week was the hottest in Minnesota in 24 years. We logged not one but two days of 100 degree heat last week.

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

That’s the first time the Twin Cities has seen 2 days of 100 degree heat since the brutal summer of 1988, when we endured 4 days of 100 degree heat, and a record 44 days at or above 90 degrees that summer. Ugh.

On pace for 20 to 30 days of 90+ degree heat this summer?

17 days at or above 90 degrees at MSP Airport so far this summer

17 days at or above 90 in the metro in 2011

(We’ve already matched last year’s total)

13 days average number of 90 degree days at MSP in summer (1981-2010 data)

44 days record number of 90-degree days set in 1988

With 17 days of 90 degree heat in the bank so far this year; it looks like we’re a lock for at least 20 days of 90 degree heat this year in the metro.

Classic Summer Week Ahead:

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Source: Twin Cities NWS

Looking out at the medium range maps form the GFS and Euro models, I don’t see any sign of a prolonged brutal “heat attack” like we suffered through last week. Temps may hang near 90 later this week into the weekend, but I don’t see any 100-degree blast furnace heat in sight for the next 2 weeks at least.

In fact, the latest GFS runs (which performed great last winter but have not done nearly as well with recent heat waves) favor slight northwest flow for the Upper Midwest the next two weeks. That could keep temps mostly in the 80s to near 90 in Minnesota.

Enjoy the great early week weather!