Sunny skies delay weekend sporting events

Members of the Colorado Avalanche, in white, and the Vegas Golden Knights, red play during the...
Members of the Colorado Avalanche, in white, and the Vegas Golden Knights, red play during the first period of the Outdoor Lake Tahoe NHL hockey game in Stateline, Nev., Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)(Rich Pedroncelli | AP)
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 10:37 AM EST
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PACIFIC PALISADES, CA and LAKE TAHOE, NV (WHSV) - This winter has served up some of the most memorable and noteworthy days in recent memory. Not even the PGA Tour or National Hockey League is immune.

Last week, the Professional Golf Association played their annual Genesis Open tournament at the famed Riviera Golf Course in southern California. Blue, sunny skies dominated the weekend, as well as mild temperatures in the 60s. However, on Saturday afternoon, play was suspended for weather.

Why? The wind.

Wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour forced course officials to deem the course unplayable, and a weather delay of 3 hours intruded on Saturday’s play. At one point, Brooks Koepka, 4-time major champion, could not get his ball to sit still on the green before hitting a putt as the strong wind gusts kept blowing it away.

This was the first time play had been suspended for high winds since 2015, when play was halted at The Open Championship.

Not to be outdone, the National Hockey League played a couple of unusual games this past weekend at the gorgeous Lake Tahoe in the Bridgestone NHL Outdoors event. The first game featured the Vegas Golden Knights and the Colorado Avalanche.

Beautiful crystal-clear blue skies highlighted the picturesque backdrop of Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Unfortunately, play was suspended before the end of the first period. Why? The sun. Yes, really!

Bright sunshine, as you can imagine, can cause quite a few issues with a game played on ice. However, the NHL has active cooling machines under the ice to keep it cold. But on this day, the darker colored paint on the ice proved to be the weak link. Solar radiation is absorbed more efficiently by darker colors, and this gain in radiation in the form of heat caused the ice to melt too quickly for the cooling devices to work properly. Thus, the game was delayed several hours until nightfall.

Truly, this winter will be one to remember for many reasons. And we’re not done yet!

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