Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Heat, storms to cause disruptions at Wimbledon on Thursday

By Eric Leister, AccuWeather meteorologist
July 5,2017, 11:47:02AM,EDT
Following comfortable weather conditions at the start of the week, players and spectators at Wimbledon will feel a dramatic shift on Thursday with the arrival of heat, humidity and thunderstorms.
Temperatures are expected to climb to around 28 C (82 F) on Thursday, well above the normal high of 21 C (70 F) for early July.
The combination of heat and humidity will fuel the development of heavy thunderstorms across southern Britain.
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“The most likely time for a thunderstorm to impact Wimbledon will be from midday onward,” said AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys.
A Yellow warning for thunderstorms and flooding has been issued for much of Britain on Thursday and Thursday night.
"Since these storms are most likely to form during the afternoon and evening hours, any delayed matches may be rescheduled for Friday," said Roys.
“Thunderstorms can produce 25 mm (1 inch) of rain within a 15- to 30-minute period,” added Roys.
However, any storms will also provide some temporary and welcome relief from the heat for spectators and players alike.
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While Centre Court has a retractable roof, the other 19 championship courts and 22 practice courts at the All England Club remain open to the elements, thus leaving the start and completion times of some matches in the hands of Mother Nature.
Closing the roof on Centre Court and creating the proper playing conditions can result in a 30- to 40-minute delay.
Wimbledon says that since 1922, only seven tournaments have experienced no weather delays. The last rain-free tournament came in 2010.
The wettest tournament was 1991 with 69.8 mm (2.75 inches) of rainfall reported while a thunderstorm produced more than 25 mm (1 inch) of rain in 20 minutes in 1985, according to the Met Office.
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The unseasonable heat will continue on Friday; however, lower humidity and dry conditions are expected.
Despite temperatures being several degrees above normal into Saturday, it will not come close to the highest temperatures on record during the tournament. In 2015, the high temperature reached 35.7 C (96.3 F), making it the hottest Wimbledon on record.
A period of unsettled weather is expected early next week which could result in additional delays.
Showers and occasional rainy spells are possible on Monday and Tuesday along with more seasonable temperatures.

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