Chance of rain... 22 percent
That’s not the part of the opening monologue we’ve come to know and love before the Tigers storm the field, but it’s more accurate. This season, it seems that almost every game has been affected by the weather. How does this season compare to others? Is this one of the wettest seasons that the Tigers have played? Let’s tread through the climatological history of Saturday Night in Death Valley.
Death Valley was first completed in the mid 1920’s, and since then, it has rained on game day 22% of the time in Baton Rouge. Those aren’t terrible odds, but is this anything special or is this the same chance of rain as any given day in the City of Baton Rouge? There is some good news there. According to our history, any given day in the Capital City holds a 31% chance of rain. In other words, if you choose any three days of the year, it’s likely that at least one will see rain. In essence, the chance of rain on game day in Death Valley tends to be lower than others.
Autumn tends to be dry here in the Red Stick regardless, especially in October. In fact, October is typically our driest month of the year. That’s the perfect time for football in my opinion. With odds like 22%, would they be different in the winter, spring, or summer, or is 22% the given chance for any autumn day in Baton Rouge? Looking through the data, the chance of rain for any given day in September-November is 25%. Not all games fall within these three months, but a majority do. It’s very close to our Death Valley statistic, but yes, climatologically speaking, you certainly can argue that there is a lower chance of rain on game day in Death Valley.
With this year’s season, of course it seems like the weather has had something to say at every game. Recently, with three consecutive unseasonably wet October weekends, it became the wettest October on record with 15.13 inches of rain in a matter of four days. The first game was cancelled due to lightning, the South Carolina game was moved to Baton Rouge due to flooding in Columbia, it rained in Starkville, Tuscaloosa, Oxford, as well as Death Valley for homecoming, what gives?
How does this season compare to others with the number of rainy game days? Has this season hosted the most game days affected by rain? Thus far, this season has had six days affected by rain IF you include the South Carolina game. While it did not rain in Death Valley, the game was moved from Columbia, S.C. due to an exorbitant amount of rainfall. Even with that stipulation, it doesn’t quite beat the record, but it has tied the record set in 1994 and 1972 with six game days recording at least some rainfall. However, the season isn’t over and although it’s still a few days away, the forecast is hinting at the chance for some rain on Saturday against Texas A&M. After that there is of course a potential post season.
Perhaps you consider the “wettest” season to host the most measured rainfall, as opposed to the most rainy days. At this point, the 2015 football season has in fact seen the most rainfall, whether it be at home or away, with 5.48 inches in total. As far as the season with the most rainfall for only Death Valley, 2013 is the winner with 5.13 inches. Most of which fell on the day that LSU played Auburn here in Death Valley with 4.67 inches. It’s the wettest LSU game day on record.
So yes this season has been wetter than normal in terms of rainfall, but has only tied as far as the number of rainy days. If we do in fact see rain on Saturday, it certainly could be the wettest season. As a city that rises defiantly in the delta alongside the father of waters, why let a little rain stop us? Besides, when it has rained on game day, the Tigers have won 66% of the time.
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