Fourteen Times Weather Wreaked Havoc


Typhoon Hagibis has put a dampener on this year’s Rugby World Cup with organizers cancelling two pool games between England v France and New Zealand v Italy on Saturday.

All four teams will receive two points in the standings as World Rugby has declared both games 0-0 draws. The decision marks the first time in history a World Cup game has been cancelled, while the weather has also caused chaos ahead of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix with Saturday’s practice and qualifying sessions cancelled.

The wrath of mother nature knows no bounds, and as you can see from our list below, you can never count out the off chance of rain, hail, floods or even a volcanic eruption on game day.

Here’s a look at some of the more memorable (or forgettable) moments when weather wreaked havoc.

1989 World Series Earthquake

The first-ever earthquake to be broadcast on live television just so happened to occur during Game 3 of the 1989 World Series.

With the first pitch between the Giants and the A’s scheduled for 5:35pm, earthquake Loma Prieta struck at precisely 5:04pm with thousands of people already seated inside Candlestick Park.

Several fans from the Bay Area left work early to attend the game, a fortunate circumstance that saved many lives. The same can’t be said for Game 3 though, as Major League Baseball postponed the game for 12 days.  

2015 Anzac Test

Suncorp Stadium went swimming in 2015 as one of Brisbane’s famous May deluges postponed the Anzac Test between Australia and New Zealand.

Both sides arrived at the ground eager to play in the wet conditions, right before match officials cancelled the game due to flooding and the threat of a looming thunderstorm.

It was a disappointing result for fans who had to wait an extra two days for the match to be played on Sunday. It was also a historic moment being the first time the trans-Tasman Test was called off due to weather.

2010 Metrodome Snowstorm

Things tend to get a little chilly in Minneapolis. Vikings fans are used to braving the cold and snowy conditions during the month of December, but on game day, the roof of the Metrodome used to provide some relief from the harsh conditions outside.

At least that was the case up until 2010, as a blizzard caused the Metrodome’s inflated roof to collapse in high winds. The storm caused three panels to collapse in the storm, which allowed a large chunk of snow and ice to break through onto the field.

The Vikings were scheduled to face the Giants a day later, but the game was immediately postponed to the following night. With the field deemed unsafe, the game was then relocated to Detroit’s Ford Field.

2016 World Series Rain Delay

Game 7 between the Cubs and the Indians is widely regarded as the most thrilling winner-take-all ending in World Series history.

The Cubs, looking to snap a 108-year championship drought, found themselves all tied up with the Indians six-runs apiece after nine innings.

Cleveland was also hoping to snap their own 68-year title drought, adding further drama to a game that had both sets of fans on the edge of their seat.

A sudden rain delay halted proceedings before extra innings that lasted 17-minutes. While this is common in baseball, the delay sparked a memorable speech from Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward, which would light a spark underneath Kyle Schwarber and Ben Zobrist, both of whom went on to score the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th on the way to an 8-7 Cubs victory.

2008 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament

A severe tornado struck the Georgia Dome during the 2008 SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament halting overtime play between Mississippi State and Alabama.

The storm tore off a panel inside the stadium as bolts and insulation fell onto the court. Play was halted for close to an hour as the game was eventually completed, but the damage did postpone the next game between Kentucky and Georgia scheduled on Friday night.

Due to the game going to overtime, hundreds of lives were fortunately spared. Had the game ended in regulation, most of the crowd would have piled out onto the street as the tornado hit.

2014 Japanese Grand Prix

Typhoon Phanfone brought a slight halt to the 2014 Japanese Grand Prix as drivers started behind the safety car. Two laps in, the race was delayed even further as drivers struggled to stick to the track.

Rain is pretty common in Formula 1, but disaster struck on the 43rd lap as Jules Bianchi lost control on the Dunlop Curve before sliding into the path of a parked tractor attending to Adrian Sutil’s idle Sauber.

Bianchi suffered severe head injuries before being airlifted home to his native France. He died ninth months later.

St Kilda vs Brisbane 1993 – Arctic Park

A chilly 11-degree day at Waverly quickly turned into one of the AFL’s most famous bad weather games in 1993.

Showers and snow were forecast prior to the game, but nobody expected torrential hail and rain to pelt the players in the second half.

The Saints won big by 22-points over the Bears in Spud Frawley’s first game in long sleeves. The Bears, meanwhile, tried to prove their Queensland toughness by donning their standard short-sleeve guernsey.

The New Orleans Saints and Hurricane Katrina

The city of New Orleans was rocked by Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005 as the rebuild still continues to this day.

The Saints were also heavily impacted with all home games at the Superdome moved to LSU’s Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge and the Alamodome in San Antonio to accommodate thousands of hurricane victims.

Jim Haslett’s side would finish the season 3-13 before Sean Payton famously led them to the NFC Championship Game the very next year. The Saints then went on to win their first Super Bowl in 2009 with a 31-17 victory over the Colts.

1987 Volvo International

Rain impacts major tennis tournaments all the time, but very rarely does it cause enough damage for a final to be completely abandoned.

The 1987 Volvo International was cancelled ahead of the final due to bad weather. Played in Stratton Mountain, Vermont, the final between Ivan Lendl and John McEnroe lasted only two sets before being abandoned. No rematch was scheduled.  

Carlton vs Fitzroy 1971 – ‘The Fog Game’

Carlton needed a big win over the Bears in 1971 to remain in the finals hunt, but mother nature had other ideas as a thick layer of fog quickly blanketed the Junction Oval.

With visibility restricted, players had to rely on their ears to find the footy and avoid their opponents. The umpires also had a tough time with only brief glimpses of play visible.

Fitzroy eventually walked away with a four-goal win, although the crowd of 22,143 had little idea.

2010 UEFA Champions League Semi-Final – Barcelona Boards the Bus

The reigning European champions were left stranded in 2010 ahead of their crucial Semi-Final match against Inter Milan.

The eruption of volcano Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland grounded all flights throughout Europe leaving Barcelona with no other option but to take the bus. The journey to the San Siro spanned over 600 miles, which would eventually proved costly as the champs lost 3-1.

Sydney FC vs Perth Glory (2011), Perth Glory vs Melbourne Heart (2014)

Cancellations rarely happen in the A-League, which is surprising considering the bulk of the season is played in the summer months.

The most notable postponement came in 2011 as the Sky Blues were unable to take off from Sydney airport for their upcoming game against the Glory due to thunderstorms.

Heat also delayed the start of 2014’s Glory v Heart encounter in Albury as the temperature reached over 40-degrees.

San Jose Sharks vs Detroit Red Wings (1995)

Indoor arenas provide plenty of shelter for hockey fans, so it’s no surprise to learn that only one game in the history of the NHL has been cancelled due to inclement weather.

Flooding of California’s Guadalupe River made access to San Jose Arena impossible as the league postponed a regular-season game between the Sharks and the Red Wings on March 10.  

San Jose would go on to meet Detroit in the playoffs losing in a 4-0 series sweep.

New Orleans Pelicans vs Indiana Pacers (2018)

A game between the Pelicans and Pacers was postponed during the 2017/18 season due to rain at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.

Originally only a minor delay was expected with the start time moved back half an hour, but a leak in the roof quickly made the playing surface unsafe. As you can see below, the Pelicans tried their best to combat the issue.

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