It was pouring in Melbourne on the day of the much-anticipated annual rite.
But Australian Open meteorologist Bob Leighton prognosticated that the weather during the 2018 Australian Open would be much better.
Of course, he says that every year. As he should.
Here’s Bob’s forecast:
“Early predictions show that the weather will be mostly sunny and fine during Australian Open 2018. Daily maximum temperatures for January are predicted to be around mid-20s, and there could be four or five days in the 30s, with the possibility of one to three days in the high 30s,” he said.
“There could be two or three days with some rainfall and a thunderstorm may be possible, but overall there will be more sunny days than wet ones.”
Accu-Weather’s long-term forecast doesn’t see those high 30s (Celsius) days in its future.
A weather-proof Slam
Rain isn’t really a problem at the Australian Open – at least not for the players ranked high enough to merit a spot on the schedule on one of the three arenas with retractable roofs: Rod Laver, Hisense and Margaret Court.
The same is true if the heat were to get intense. That hasn’t happen a whole lot in recent years, despite our common perception of the Australian summer weather.
They will close the roofs if the temperature meets certain parameters. But if they do that, they also stop play on all the outside courts, because that means it’s pretty unbearable.
It happened one day during the 2014 edition – new Canadian Davis Cup captain Frank Dancevic’s star-turning moment.
When it gets bad – it gets really bad.
Last year, the average high during the tournament was 26°C (79°F) and there was an average of nine hours of sunshine a day.
The 2009 edition was the warmest on record. An absolute scorcher. The average daily high was nearly 95°F.