Single Time Zone but Varying Weather for American Association Teams
The 12-team American Association of Professional Baseball (AAPB) on-field talent consists of former major league and former minor league players and undrafted college players. As the map below shows, the six Northern Division teams include three in the Chicagoland metroplex, Milwaukee, Fargo, and Winnipeg. The Southern division teams include four members along the I-29 corridor between Sioux Falls and Kansas City and two others from Texas. The Saint Paul Saints (former league member) moved on to become the AAA team for the nearby Twins, so the American Association is now without a team along the Mississippi River.
Though the teams lie far apart geographically, the AAPB has the advantage of all teams being within the Central Time Zone. My recent article about Northwoods League weather applies well to the northern division of the AAPB as it overlaps the geography of the Northwoods League. Lengthy daylight hours are notable, as by late June Winnipeg has nearly 16 and a half hours of daylight (still twilight at 10PM) while the Railroaders team in Cleburne near Dallas-Fort Worth enjoys an hour less daylight in both the morning and evening.
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The southernmost locations of the league have a much warmer spring climate profile with an earlier severe weather season. The map here shows that average May temperatures (at the start of the season) are some twenty degrees warmer for the Cleburne team in Texas as compared to the Fargo RedHawks home along the Minnesota – North Dakota border. Severe weather tends to peak by the end of May for southern locations (Kansas City southward) and from late May into June from Omaha to Chicago. The northern locations (Fargo and Winnipeg) sometimes see more of a mid-summer (July) peak in severe weather and thunderstorms.
As summer progresses, the long days up north allow the temperatures to catch up with those in the southern states. There remains a significant contrast in humidity levels as measured by the dewpoint between the northern and southern locations. The chart below compares the monthly average dewpoint for Winnipeg, Sioux Falls, and Kansas City.
Many fail to realize that rainfall events on average become much less frequent and heavy going from late spring to the end of summer into early fall. Average monthly rainfall at Sioux Falls is nearly 60% higher in May and June compared to the month of August. At Winnipeg, late summer rainfall averages barely half of the May and early June amounts. For this reason the potential for rainouts is much lower during the second half of the season!