It was a warm summer Thursday evening in Knoxville. The Tennessee Smokies, the Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, were settling in against their game against Jacksonville.
The temperature was 95 degrees but the humidity was fairly low by Tennessee standards, the sun had been out for much of the day, and there was a light 5-6 mph breeze blowing.
However, as 6 p.m. approached, ominous clouds gathered in the distance. A summer thunderstorm was brewing and heading toward the stadium. The grounds crew gets ready and brings out the tarp. But still, at 5:53 p.m., it's still a 6 mph breeze and dry.
Then, a sudden squall blasts into the stadium. At 6:04 p.m., winds rage to 58 mph as a gust front barrels through.
There was thunder, there was lightning, there was rain.
And then, there was... the "tarp-nami"
The winds would gust between 46-58 mph for a solid 21 minutes. But by 6:53 p.m., winds were back to 6 mph, although the temperature had dropped an incredible 26 degrees to 69.
The thunderstorm would dump rain for the next few hours.
And oh yeah, the game was postponed.
(Good thing, I guess it'll give the Smokies time to go out and buy a new tarp!)
P.S. This reminds me of my all time favorite tarp problem that happened several years ago when the Florida Marlins were a fairly new team and the grounds crew was still learning the ropes of tarp science: