AMES, Iowa — Back in 2018, the Iowa State Cyclones' opening game against South Dakota State was canceled after being postponed numerous times. Rounds of storms moved across Ames throughout the afternoon and evening, causing the cancelation of the game just before midnight.
Previously, in 2005, a mid-November tornado outbreak caused a delay as a tornado passed within just a few miles of Jack Trice Stadium.
Chris Vagasky, an internationally-recognized lightning safety expert, says that just because we're heading out of summer, that doesn't mean storms go with the season.
"The fall is kinda the second severe weather season across the Great Plains. There is still that risk for lightning, even though it may not be as high as during the springtime or summertime," Vaisala said.
In fact, between 2016 and 2020, Iowa State ranked in the top 10 schools across the country that see the most amount of lightning on game days.
Iowa State is among the likes of Gulf and southeast states, as Miami checks in at the top spot.
Iowa State Senior Associate Athletic Director of Operations Chris Jorgensen said they're ready to go should any inclement weather occur.
"Once we hit eight miles, we activate the thunderstorm activation plan. Our recommendation for fans is really to get either back to their car or get inside. Just find a safe spot," Jorgensen said.
The safest place to be during the storm would be your car if you're parked nearby. If not, find an enclosed area at Jack Trice that takes you out of the elements.
"There is no safe place outside during a thunderstorm," Vagasky added.