Once a rain event (better known as a “downpour” or a “major rain storm” occurs on your baseball or softball field, there are many parameters that will dictate how fast a field will be ready to resume play. Here is the shocking truth… Every situation is different and can skew the time needed for recovery in either direction. The factors that affect how fast a field will recover include:
- The infield’s condition going into the rain event (dragged smooth or chewed-up from cleats
- Soil makeup of the infield skin – soil stability
- Whether the infield skin is top-dressed or not
- Intensity and length of time rain occurred
- Amount of rain that fell
- The weather expected over the next 3 to 6 hours
- sky conditions
- humidity levels and trend
- wind speed and direction
- chances for additional precipitation
Perhaps the most important parameter above is the humidity levels and their trend. In order for a field to improve, it needs to dry. For the soil to dry, moisture will need to evaporate out of that soil.
If humidity levels are high (above 75%), there is little room in the parcels of air floating over the field to absorb moisture out of the ground. Once humidity levels drop to 60% or lower, you can expect to see more rapid improvement, especially if you have the sun and wind working in concert with the lower humidity. If your humidity stays high, the sun and wind can only help in a very small way and progress will be very slow.
There must be room in the air to absorb that moisture.