LOS ANGELES, California (KTRK) -- It appears that the hot temperatures inside Dodger Stadium could have a major effect on the flight of baseballs tonight.
According to Accuweather, since hot air is less dense than cool air, for every 10 degree rise in temperature, a hit baseball can travel 2.5 feet farther. That means a ball with an exit speed off a bat of 100 mph and an elevation angle of 30 degrees may be caught by an outfielder at the wall if the air temperature is 70 degrees.
If the air temperature is near 100 degrees, like tonight, that same ball will travel 7.5 feet farther, putting it completely out of the reach of an outfielder. That's a huge difference and we may end up seeing more home run balls than usual tonight.
However, the Santa Ana winds are forecast to be gusting up to 20 mph this evening. They're blowing in towards home plate from right-center field so balls hit in that direction may have a harder time flying out versus the same ball being hit towards left field.
None of this will be a problem when the teams play Friday night here in Houston. Minute Maid Park is an air conditioned, closed stadium of course.
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How hot weather could affect flying baseballs