San Diego Padres' Opening Day delayed hours as California drenched again
As yet another bomb cyclone spins off the shores of California this week, rain is in the forecast as the San Diego Padres kick off their highly anticipated 2023 season at Petco Park on Thursday afternoon.
SAN DIEGO – Wet weather has been the story of the entire winter in California, and now it's even having an effect on the Boys of Summer.
As yet another bomb cyclone spins off the shores of California this week, showers and thunderstorms are in the forecast as the San Diego Padres kick off their highly anticipated 2023 season at Petco Park on Thursday afternoon – or at least it was Thursday afternoon.
The team announced Wednesday night it was pushing back the start time of its inaugural game from 1:10 p.m. to 6:40 p.m in an effort to dodge any rain impacts. And it was indeed an active morning with a Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued for San Diego late Thursday morning and even a brief Tornado Warning in a rural area far north of the city. But forecasts have the showers clearing by late evening.
As you might imagine, rain is usually not a factor in Southern California during the MLB season. If the game had suffered a rain delay, it would have been a first for opening day in San Diego, and just the ninth rain delay since Petco Park opened in 2004, according to the San Diego Padres. (Two other games had delays due to bees!)
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The last rain delay was Sept. 9 last year in a home game against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.
The prior rain delay was on Sept. 24, 2021, when thunderstorms in San Diego halted the resumption of a suspended game against the Atlanta Braves. That game had started in Atlanta in July as the second game of a doubleheader but was ultimately suspended in the fifth inning due to rain. The game resumed in San Diego months later, only to face a second weather delay there.
In the event Thursday's storms rain the game out -- unlikely, since rain is expected to decrease then clear later in the day -- it would just be the fourth rainout at Petco Park and 19th overall since the franchise began in 1969.
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It has indeed been a soggy year for California up and down the state. San Diego has had 35 days with measurable rain since Jan. 1 through Thursday. The city averages about 39 days with measurable rain over an entire year.
San Diego not the only opening day host facing weather woes
While San Diego's groundskeepers will likely be the busiest Thursday keeping the field dry ahead of the game, fans at some other parks celebrating opening day will receive gentle reminders that it is still early spring.
Those in Boston will feel sunshine, but it'll be windy and chilly with temperatures near 40 degrees.
The Windy City holds up to its nickname, too, with gusty winds blowing around Wrigley Field with a few passing showers for the Cubs' opener against Milwaukee. Winds will blow through Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Thursday for the Royals' home opener.
The Los Angeles Dodgers also begin the season at home Thursday and Los Angeles is only 120 miles from San Diego. But their game against Arizona also doesn't start until the late evening and should be clear of any rain concerns.