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The Loop

Don't worry, it's not going to rain (too much) during the U.S. Open

April 29, 2014

Back in February we talked to Gary Lezak, chief meteorologist for NBC's Kansas City TV affiliate and creator of Weather2020, a forecasting app that boasts the ability to predict the weather upwards of three months in advance.

Lezak was promoting his product touting what his models told him would be the weather conditions in Augusta, Ga., 12 weeks ahead of the Masters. His prediction: Rain during the practice rounds, with the weather clearing as the tournament rounds began.

And, well … he was right. After torrential rain washed out Monday's practice round at Augusta, the tournament proper was played under sunny skies.

Naturally, then, we wanted to reach out to Lezak again to get an early read on what's in store for mid-June in North Carolina, when Pinehurst No. 2 hosts the men's and women's U.S. Opens on consecutive weeks. Here's his scoop:

During the early part of the week at the men's Open, there's going to be some thunderstorms and two to three rounds of rain. A cold front could move in before the tournament starts, but once the weekend rolls around, the temperature will be higher than usual, and it will be quite humid. In total, there will be 1-2 inches of rain that week.

The women's Open isn't looking as wet. There could be one or two smaller periods of rain. Overall, it's going to be warm and humid.

Of course a bit of rain isn't ideal from the perspective of players or spectators, but this information is likely to be somewhat reassuring for officials with the USGA. Suffice it to say, really bad weather could be really bad news for back-to-back Opens. If there's enough rain delays for the men's tournament, the final round could be pushed to Monday. Even worse, if an 18-hole playoff is needed to decide the men's winner, that could keep the men on the course two days before the women's tournament is slated to begin.

The USGA's luck with wet weather in the recent past hasn't always been great. Remember what Merion looked like after the men played it last summer?

And then there was the U.S. Open in 2009, where rains force a Monday finish at Bethpage Black. The U.S. Women's Open also went long in 2006 when bad weather effected play at Newport C.C.

According to Lezak, who also accurately predicted the New York weather for the Super Bowl XLVIII in February, there won't be that much rain. So, it's going to be fine.