CANADIAN FOG BOWL

December 1-2, 1962

50th Grey Cup in Toronto, Canada

 Photo credit: Canadian Football League

Overview:

The 50th Grey Cup played in December (1-2) 1962 between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (11-5-0) and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (9-4-1) took place in Toronto at the Canadian National Exhibition Stadium (demolished in 1999) where approximately 32,655 people gathered in attendance. Dense fog caused the game to be suspended during play. It is the only Grey Cup to ever be suspended during play. Click here for a short video of the event.

 

 
Q1
Q2
Q3
Q4
FINAL
Hamilton Tiger-Cats
6
13
8
0
27
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
0
21
7
0
28

Click here for a link to the Canadian Football League's webpage with scorecard, synopsis of the game and a short video.

 

Details of Game:

Thick advection fog rolled in during the second quarter. The dense fog restricted visibility to such distances that fans in attendance could not see the plays on the field nor could the players find the ball during passes and punts. Even worse, the reduced visibility made it difficult for the referees to properly officiate. This has led to some controversy over the outcome of the game. The game was postponed until the following afternoon with only 9 minutes and 29 seconds left in the fourth quarter with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers leading the score 28-27. The game resumed the following day with no further scoring. Talk about a nail-biter! For an intimate reminiscence of the game click here. Below are several pictures that will give you an idea of the event. Click any picture to enlarge.

 

   

 

Details of Weather:

The combination of high pressure that dominated the Great Lakes region and the cold, moist air from Lake Ontario created the perfect setup for the development of fog (Fig. 1 and 2). On the morning of December 1st, fog restricted visibilities in the area to as low as 1 mile. But diurnal heating also played a crucial role with fog this day. Daytime heating dissipated the fog over land increasing visibility from ½ mile to 4 miles, but thick fog remained over the lake. By 2 p.m. differential heating between Lake Ontario and the Toronto urbanscape set up a lake breeze effect. The 1400 LST (Fig. 3) observation recorded a southerly wind at 11 km/hr. This increase in wind resulted in advection fog that was pushed out from Lake Ontario, engulfing the Exhibition Stadium and the 50th Grey Cup in thick fog that decreased visibility to as low as zero that afternoon. Click here for more information on different types of fog.

 

                                

Fig. 1 and 2.  Figure 1 is a collection of daily weather maps from December 1, 1962 including surface charts at 1:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., a 500 mb chart, and 24-hour max/min temperature and 24-hour precipitation charts. Figure 2 is a surface weather chart from December 2, 1962 depicting surface conditions at 1:00 p.m. the day prior. Evident in the surface charts is the dominant area of high pressure that allowed for the development of fog in the Toronto area.

 

 

Fig. 3 The graph on the left shows early-morning visibility reduced to just less than 1 km in thick fog, increasing until noon, and suddenly decreasing again. The graph on the right shows an increase in wind speed which was the catalyst in the advection of thick fog from Lake Ontario back over the stadium and resulting in the delay of game. 

  

Geography and Climate:

Exhibition Stadium was located less than a quarter mile to the northwest of the Inner Harbor of Lake Ontario. Small-scale maritime effects on the climate include lake-effect snow, fog, and the delay of spring- and fall-like conditions known as seasonal lag.

   

 

 Points of Interest:

  • Max/Min Temps on December 1: 51F (10.6C) / 28F (-2.2C) 
  • Head Coaches: WBB: Bud Grant (former longtime coach of Minnesota Vikings) and HTC: Jeff Trimble (former coach of the Philadelphia Eagles)
  • MVP: Leo Lewis, RB, Winnipeg

Exhibition Stadium experienced several other notable weather events:

  • The only major league baseball game to be played with snow on the field (Toronto Blue Jays inaugural game on April 7, 1977
  • The 1982 Grey Cup (aka Rain Bowl) was played in heavy rain
  • The only major league baseball game to be suspended due to high wind in 1984
  • In 1989 the Skydome (Rogers Centre) was opened. Construction of this stadium was a direct result of the 1982 Rain Bowl.

Additional Information and Photo Sources: Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Canadian Press, The Canadian Encyclopedia, Canadian Football League


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