DENVER (CBS4) – Baseball season is in full swing and it won’t be long until we’re in the heart of thunderstorm season along Colorado’s Front Range. A recent study by Vaisala Meteorologist Chris Vagasky looked at four years worth of data around MLB ballparks and found that Coors Field is one of the most prone to having a game interrupted by lightning.
The study plotted lightning data from nearly 10,000 MLB games between 2016-2019. It accounted for all in-cloud and cloud-to-ground strikes within an 8-mile radius of each stadium and included strikes that happened up to an hour before or after each game.
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Vagasky found a total of 175,151 strikes took place during 715 games. Of those strikes 2,732 were within one mile of a stadium.
It comes as no surprise that Miami and Tampa lead the pack with the highest number of home games threatened by lightning. Florida may be known as The Sunshine State but they also have a high number of thunderstorms each year due to their warm and humid climate.
Houston placed third followed by Coors Field in Denver. While Coors Field ranked high for the number of games with lightning in the vicinity they’re pretty low on the list in terms of total number of lightning strikes.
This may seem a bit puzzling but it makes sense if you understand the climate of the Front Range, which has a very concentrated thunderstorm cycle during the mid to late afternoon hours, which is when home games are played. Thunderstorms are most common in the Denver area between late April and mid-August.
Data From Chris Vagasky’s Study
Miami Marlins (80 games – 19,570 lightning strikes of which 6,766 were cloud-to-ground)
Tampa Bay Rays (78 games – 21,385 lightning strikes of which 9,751 were cloud-to-ground)
Houston Astros (51 games – 24,339 lightning strikes of which 6,274 were cloud-to-ground)
Colorado Rockies (49 games – 1,686 lightning strikes of which 549 were cloud-to-ground)
Atlanta Braves (46 games – 4,427 lightning strikes of which 1,246 were cloud-to-ground)
Cincinnati Reds (38 games – 5,219 lightning strikes of which 1,232 were cloud-to-ground)
Washington Nationals (28 games – 11,726 lightning strikes of which 2,311 were cloud-to-ground)
Kansas City Royals (27 games – 8,559 lightning strikes of which 1,472 were cloud-to-ground)
Texas Rangers (26 games – 6,453 lightning strikes of which 801 were cloud-to-ground)
Pittsburgh Pirates (26 games – 4,933 lightning strikes of which 1,574 were cloud-to-ground)
Baltimore Orioles (26 games – 13,834 lightning strikes of which 2,487 were cloud-to-ground)
Chicago White Sox (24 games – 6,630 lightning strikes of which 2,227 were cloud-to-ground)
Toronto Blue Jays (24 games – 3,801 lightning strikes of which 562 were cloud-to-ground)
St. Louis Cardinals (19 games – 21,334 lightning strikes of which 6,289 were cloud-to-ground)
New York Yankees (19 games – 3,823 lightning strikes of which 1,266 were cloud-to-ground)
Philadelphia Phillies (19 games – 3,488 lightning strikes of which 988 were cloud-to-ground)
Milwaukee Brewers (19 games – 1,817 lightning strikes of which 412 were cloud-to-ground)
Detroit Tigers (19 games – 764 lightning strikes of which 148 were cloud-to-ground)
Arizona Diamondbacks (18 games – 2,076 lightning strikes of which 431 were cloud-to-ground)
Chicago Cubs (18 games – 1,615 lightning strikes of which 473 were cloud-to-ground)
New York Mets (17 games – 4,315 lightning strikes of which 1,546 were cloud-to-ground)
Cleveland Indians (17 games – 1,278 lightning events of which 204 were cloud-to-ground)
Minnesota Twins (13 games – 1,546 lightning strikes of which 337 were cloud-to-ground)
Boston Red Sox (10 games – 471 lightning strikes of which 325 were cloud-to-ground)
Seattle Mariners (2 games – 17 lightning strikes of which 5 cloud-to-ground)
San Francisco Giants (1 game – 44 lightning strikes of which 24 were cloud-to-ground)
Los Angeles Angels (1 game – 1 lightning strike event which was in-cloud)
Los Angeles Dodgers – 0
San Diego Padres – 0
Oakland A’s – 0