White Sox Home Opener is 'Guaranteed' to be among coldest on record

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The White Sox Home Opener against the Detroit Tigers is set for Thursday, and the weather will feel more like an average December day. Fans and players will have to take measures to stay warm for this game.

First pitch is set for 3:10 p.m. with a temperature of 38 degrees. This will be one of the coldest home openers for players and fans.

But ticket-holders Adam Laluz and Eddie Fernandez were not worried.

"Obviously wear double-layers. I'm probably going to wear some joggers underneath some jeans. Probably wear two sweaters, and of course I just got myself a brand new Sox jersey I'm going to wear," Fernandez said.

"You got warm food. You got cold beer, and you've got family. And White Sox in front of you. It's going to be, it's going to be great," said Laluz.

Grandstand, near the ballpark, is fully stocked with cold weather gear: jackets, hats, handwarmers and gloves.

"There will be people that are going to be naive to the fact that it's going to be really cold out there," said Josh Ganal, owner of Grandstand.

Two years ago, the Sox opener saw snow and temperatures in the 30s, but it didn't stop folks from tailgating.

The frigid conditions can, however, impact home run balls.

"When it's cold, the ball simply doesn't carry as much because the air drag on the ball is greater," said Prof. Alan Nathan, University of Illinois.

Nathan has been studying the physics of baseball for two decades, and said the colder the air is the denser it is, and that affects the flight of the ball.

"For every 10-degree drop in the temperature, that ball will travel about three and a third, 3.3, feet, less," he said.

Not only will the cold weather be a factor, but there's also the potential for some rain and snow.

A disturbance will roll through during the afternoon, bringing the threat of scattered snow showers across northern Illinois. Rain will mix in at times.

The exact track of the snow is still evolving, so there's a chance for only a brief period of light precipitation to fall which wouldn't impact the game too much.
However, if the snow band sets up over Guaranteed Rate Field, then there could be some minor delays. Pack your patience and layers for this game!

The coldest home openers for the White Sox occurred on April 4, 2003 against the Tigers, and April 5, 1974 against the Angels, both with a recorded temperature of only 37 degrees. April 5, 2018 will give this record a run for its money.

Here's the latest video forecast from the ABC 7 Eyewitness News Team
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