NCAA Lafayette Regional Forecast Series: Game 1 vs. Ron Burgandy University


So here we go. It’s time for our boys to put up or shut up in the Lafayette Regional of the 2014 NCAA Baseball Tournament. So just like our boys will need to put out their best effort for this tournament, so will I. The area is quite strange for forecasters this time of year. The high dewpoints of the area along with the prevailing winds coming in from the South this time of year makes the environment perfect for those pop-up showers that we love during the Summer. I am going to skip the 250 mb level for this forecast as it pretty much has nothing to do with our weather. Although I may reference it in the lower levels, I’ll save you the bore. For the full schedule and bracket, you can go here. You already know which website I’m going to use for my model data, but I will be employing the use of the application called “BUFKIT”. If you’d like to download BUFKIT, it can be found here. The model data is best found on the Penn State (I know…I know) website which can be accessed here. Now let’s get right to this.

500 mb

It seems that we have an upper-level low positioned over West Mississippi. Strangely enough, it’s going to shift a little bit to the West which will INCREASE precipitation chances for this Friday’s matchup. With this shift to the West, it brings some fairly substantial DPVA into the Lafayette region. With this DPVA, we can expect some upward motion and instability that should initiate storms consistently during this time.

700 mb

Well it seems that there is not any motion at the 700 mb level as far as velocities are concerned. So this is making me believe that although we may have a substantial amount of storms, that they won’t be too deep. I’m thinking more stratiform precipitation which will bring more of a long-lasting steady rain rather than a heavy, short-term rain that you would see with taller storms (Thunderstorms). So that means longer rain-delays, which means that we will have to most likely burn through more pitchers than usual between rain delays.

850 mb

So looking at the 850 mb level for temperature advection and the dewpoints, WAA is nowhere to be found. Winds are coming out of the SSE at 5-10 knots so humidity should be quite substantial through this Regional. This map confirms that it is going to be fairly miserable out there for this game, humidity-wise. But let’s be honest here, we’re all used to that down here in the South. The Aztecs, however, most likely are not that used to heat AND humidity being fairly high.

Surface/BUFKIT Analysis

So looking at the surface map, surface dewpoint values are hovering around 70 °F with Lifted-index values, which describe the instability of the atmosphere, around -3 °F. That means that we have fairly significant humidity with a little bit of instability overhead. This is setting up for a perfect summertime shower that we all know about this time of year. Looking at the model through BUFKIT, the NAM is suggesting rain of at least 0.10″. With their field being turf, it should drain efficiently. But, sadly with the large amounts of rain that the Lafayette area has been experiencing, we’re still going to be affected by this.

Numbers you want to know

First pitch (1:00 PM CDT, 81 °F, overcast, winds SSE at 5-10 mph, chance of rain 70%, chance of delay 80%.

Last out (4:00 PM CDT): 80 °F, overcast, winds SSE at 5-10 mph, chance of rain 80%, chance of delay 80%.

With this, I leave you with a quote from the great Brick Tamland of the all-great Channel 4 News Team.