Rain to threaten more MLB postponements

baseballAccuWeather reports a storm with rain and spotty thunderstorms will spin slowly northward this week. Off-and-on rain is in store for most locations over a two-day period. The steadiest rain is likely during the first part of the storm, when gusty winds are likely to accompany a chilly flow of air off the Atlantic Ocean.

A few locally heavy, gusty thunderstorms may occur in parts of the Chesapeake Bay region and perhaps in Delaware and southern New Jersey.

The storm will affect everything from road and airline travel and construction projects to outdoor recess at schools, after-school practice, outdoor lunch plans and baseball games.

As of Sunday, April 22, there have been 26 MLB games postponed so far this season due to rain and snow. This sets a new record for the number of MLB game postponements through April, breaking the previous record of 25 games set during the 2007 season.

The most recent postponement was caused by the same rainstorm destined for the Northeast. A game originally scheduled at Atlanta between the Mets and Braves is now slated for May 28.

The Detroit Tigers have had the most postponements so far with six games. Four other teams have had four games postponed: The Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees.

The Tigers may have another game postponed at Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. Games at Cleveland, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, Baltimore and The Bronx are also at risk for delays and/or postponements. It is possible that rain will hold off until the later innings or after the game ends at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Depending upon the speed of the storm, postponements in the Northeast are less likely on Wednesday night, provided the storm keeps moving northeastward. However, some delays due to brief showers are still possible.

Motorists should allow extra time for their commutes beginning in part of the mid-Atlantic on Tuesday and New England and New York state on Wednesday. Pedestrians will need an umbrella and a pair of waterproof shoes to get around.

Airline passengers should anticipate minor delays related to a low cloud ceiling, turbulence and locally heavy rain.

The rainstorm may come as a relief to some people since many of the storms in the past six to eight weeks have delivered snow to parts of the region.

Rainfall and moisture in the air from the storm will diminish the risk of wildfires in the region.

April to early May is notorious for brush fires since the air is often dry, temperatures climb and dead winter brush is plentiful.

Rainfall from this storm should help to spur a surge in green-up of vegetation.

Stream and river flooding are not anticipated from this storm, due to the prior three- to five-day stretch of dry weather in most locations. This includes portions of West Virginia that experienced flooding last week.

However, enough rain may fall at a fast enough pace to lead to street and poor drainage area flooding. This is mostly likely where winter debris in gutters and catch basins have not yet been removed by cleanup crews.

By Alex Sosnowski, Senior Meteorologist for AccuWeather.com