A band of severe storms soaked several college football games during the season’s opening weekend, leading to game delays because of driving rain and stadium evacuations when lightning strikes got too close. As Chicago Sun-Times’ Herb Gould wrote, “One thing we learned during the first weekend of college football is that this continues to be one of the toughest weather years we’ve seen in a long time.”
On Saturday, fans evacuated Notre Dame‘s stadium twice when lightning struck close to the stadium. Thousands of fans in the University of Michigan’s stadium waited through rain delays before officials asked them to evacuate the Big House because of lightning strikes as well before stopping the game entirely in the third quarter. University of Iowa officials cleared their stadium because of lightning during the storm before resuming the game an hour later.
Then on Sunday, West Virginia officials cleared fans from its stadium when lightning strikes neared the field. After seven hours of rain and lightning delays, officials called the game in the fourth quarter. Here are photos from the Associated Press of the heavy downpours that soaked swaths of the Midwest and Eastern U.S. (while drought conditions in Texas continue to fuel wildfires):
As climate change continues, scientists say stronger rains and fiercer droughts will be the norm. Summers will grow hotter and longer, and college football fans can expect a few more rain delays in their teams’ seasons.