CWS has its own in-ballpark forecaster -
Published Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 1:39 am
CWS has its own in-ballpark forecaster

Marty McKewon loves baseball and weather.

He also loves his job, a mix of both.

As the official consulting meteorologist for the College World Series, McKewon gives forecasts tailored to the location of TD Ameritrade Park for NCAA and MECA officials, who determine game delays or cancellations.

“I just do the weather, and they make the decisions,” McKewon said, laughing. “But it's two things I absolutely love.”

McKewon, 48, has been fascinated with weather since he was a child and a storm ripped through his hometown of Sioux City, Iowa. It left behind a trail of debris, which awed McKewon.

“I just knew it was what I wanted to do,” he said.

McKewon started making weather predictions for the CWS in the mid-1990s.

After a hiatus from 2001 to 2007, when he worked as a private forecaster in Minneapolis, he returned to Omaha. The move came just in time to forecast the last few years of games at the now-demolished Rosenblatt Stadium.

McKewon's most memorable game wasn't the 2010 nailbiter final of the series, which South Carolina won in extra innings.

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It was the 2010 opening game between Oklahoma and USC, nearly canceled because of forecast thunderstorms.

And the game was threatening to go into extra innings as storm clouds rolled in.

“It's not always a cut and clear decision what time storms will begin and end,” McKewon said. “We really got lucky. We were able to finish the game by, literally, five minutes. It was that tight.”

When it comes to game delays or cancellations, McKewon tries to answer two key questions: How long will the storm last? Can the game be resumed?

McKewon camps out with weather equipment in a meeting room near the third base dugout. He monitors weather patterns and developing storms. NCAA rules dictate that the game must stop if lightning strikes within eight miles of the ballpark.

McKewon said it doesn't look like storms will slow down the final games of this year's series.

“It's been an extremely wet spring,” he said. “In the past week, we have switched over to a steady summer weather pattern. Your two key words are hot and humid.”

Temperatures will hover in the mid-90s, and thunderstorms are unlikely.

And if storms do develop, McKewon will be among the first to know.

“I have the most unique opportunity to participate in this event and provide a service that can make it run smoothly,” McKewon said.

“The world series is such a cherished event to the city of Omaha. People have strong emotions for it, including me. It's gratifying.”

Current conditions and forecast

Contact the writer: Lizzie Johnson    |   402-444-1037    |  

Lizzie is a breaking news reporter, which basically means all things weather- or crime-related.

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