MOO Reports:
Weather in Sport

September is a busy month for BSMO - school starts and so do the daily readings once again. Additionally, the tennis world will descend on Bournemouth which holds the top ATP event, the Samsung Open. To celebrate the arrival of the tennis bandwagon in Bournemouth, Moo looks at the link between weather and sport.

The British Met Office based in Bracknell has its very own sports section, which deals with requests from all sorts of people involved in sport. For instance, managers of football teams often change their tactics depending on wind, atmospheric and pitch conditions. Tennis players know that hot weather produces shorter rallies. Athletes must calculate to what degree to pace themselves in races, depending on the humidity and the air temperature.

Organisers are of course also very interested in weather conditions. Bad weather can affect even the most organized tournament, producing financial difficulty. The football world cup, to be held in Japan and South Korea in 2002 has its own weather committee, which has already decided to move the dates due to the rainy season. The Wimbledon tennis organisers have recently been criticized for not including a retractable on the new Court Number One, as rain has caused several days with no play possible.

Short term weather forecasts are useful to anticipate attendance numbers. These in turn will help organizers get the right levels of crowd safety, catering, car parking and so on.

The British Met Office helps teams that travel abroad. It will give details of the climate for the time of the year and then more short term forecasts to allow adjustments of tactics, travel arrangements and so on.

The weather conditions are taken very seriously by those with interests in sport. Formula One teams, golf and tennis tournaments, the Football league, the Jockey Club and individual climbers all get reports from the Met Office.

Hopefully, the weather for the Samsung Open will be sunny and dry, suitable for both watching and playing tennis, but we can't promise that! If you have any questions or want information on weather in sport, then either contact MOO at or Malcolm Brooks on at the British Met Office.



. 1999-2003 Justin Taylor / John Dray

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