Wilkinson weather: It never rained on a Bud game at Owen Field
There’s always been a folk story that it never rained on a Bud Wilkinson football game at Owen Field. I never believed it but certainly never cared enough to research it.
But someone did. And it’s dang near true.
Gary McManus, associate state climatologist for the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, said his staff did some research.
“‘With the exception of a blowing mist during the Sooners’ 55-14 drubbing of Colorado in late October 1951, no precipitation was observed during Wilkinson’s home career,” McManus said. “And even on that day, no measurable amount of rainfall fell until several hours after the final gun, so the climate record supports the Legend of Bud Wilkinson Weather.”
Think about that. Think of all the rainy (and snowy) Barry Switzer games. Think of the wet Bob Stoops games. Think of that miserable November Texas A&M game in 1997, when the Ags won 51-7 and rained ice most of the night.
And then think of it never raining on Bud Wilkinson in 17 seasons of OU home games.
”Wilkinson’s Sooners played 81 home games, all in the last 10 days of September through the last week of November,” McManus said. “Norman’s long-term climate record indicates that measurable precipitation falls on about 17 percent of the days in this period.
“If 81 of these ‘football season’ days were randomly drawn from Norman’s history, the odds of choosing zero rainy days are exceedingly small. In fact, they are very similar to the chances of rolling a die 81 times without showing a 6. About 2.5 million to one!”
I can’t veryify that McManus’ math is correct, but I’m in no position to argue with a meteorologist. You can find the whole article about Bud Wilkinson weather in this issue of “Oklahoma Climate” magazine, from the fall of 2004: http://climate.mesonet.org/seasonal_summary/Oklahoma_Climate_Fall_2004.pdf The article was written by Derek Arndt, who now is with the National Climatic Data Center.
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