Is it too cold to play outdoor baseball in Minneapolis during early April and late October?
Short answer: no, I don't think so. But over at one of my favorite websites, www.joeposnanski.com, I got embroiled in a climatological debate in the comments thread of his excellent "Something To Think About 4/12" post, which consists of a couple lines from that great old Saturday Night Live skit where Dana Carvey plays George Will hosting a sports quiz show: George Will's Sports Machine. Funny stuff, I wish I could find a link to that...
Anyway, here's some climate data from Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, and Boston. After checking it out, it's clear that Minneapolis is measurably less hospitable to outdoor ball in early April and late October. But sometimes, the differences are so small (in particular, there's almost no difference between April in Minneapolis and Detroit), that I just don't see any reason for panic.
But please, don't believe me. Here are the numbers:
April high/mean/low: 57.0/46.6/38.2
October h/m/l: 58.4/48.7/38.9
Average April precipitation/snow (inches): 2.31/3.1
Average number of April days with precipitation/snow: 11.3/2.2
Average October precip./snow (inches):
Average October days w precip/snow: 8.4/0.6
April h/m/l: 59.2/49.7/40.2
October h/m/l: 63.2/54.1/44.9
Avg April precip/snow (in): 3.82/1.4
Avg April days w precip/snow: 11.6/1.0
Avg Oct precip/snow (in): 2.79/0.1
Avg Oct days w precip/snow: 9.7/0.2
April h/m/l: 57.8/48.1/38.4
October h/m/l: 61.2/51.9/42.5
Avg April precip/snow (in): 3.05/1.7
Avg April days w precip/snow: 12.6/2.1
Avg Oct precip/snow (in): 2.23/0.3
Avg Oct days w precip/snow: 9.8/0.3
April h/m/l: 56.1/48.3/40.5
October h/m/l: 61.8/54.1/46.4
Avg April precip/snow (in): 3.6/1.1
Avg April days w precip/snow: 11.0/0.7
Avg Oct precip/snow (in): 3.79/0
Avg Oct days w precip/snow: 8.0/0
Let's hear it for data!