Wimbledon spectators should maintain a level of rain readiness at all times.
Just as the defense readiness condition (DEFCON) is an alert posture used by the United States Armed Forces, these rain readiness conditions (RAINCON) are an unofficial alert protocol that can be followed by Wimbledon spectators.
The rain preparations that take place under the five RAINCONs have been described as precisely as possible, but will vary for each unique circumstance of rain.
Conditions can move swiftly from RAINCON 5 to RAINCON 0. It is recommended that spectators remain alert (but not alarmed) at all times. If you see weather conditions that are unusual or suspicious, do not wait for instructions. Follow your own judgement.
These protocols were inspired by actual events.*
Blue skies. Lowest state of readiness.
Raincoat and umbrella present but at bottom of bag.
Sunscreen required but not often used.
Matches played as per schedule.
Sky turns grey. Increased intelligence watch.
Grey clouds gather. Increase in rain readiness above that required for normal readiness.
Rumours heard of rain in next suburb.
Rain coats moved to easily accessible position.
Some spectators with low rain tolerance are observed with umbrellas up.
Light intermittent rain fails. Further increase in rain readiness but less than maximum.
Spectators remain in seats.
Ground crew mobilised.
Intermittent rain continues. Play suspension is imminent.
Move to maximum readiness.
Roof closing protocols reviewed. Roof will not necessarily be closed because of rain.
Spectators move to bar. Await further instructions.
Highest conditions of rain readiness.
Roof may be closed or roof closing decision may be delayed pending consultation with meteorological office.
Cliff Richard at the ready for impromptu concert.
*Note – Roof is only closed for matches on Centre Court that are part of the original schedule. It is not closed for scheduled matches that have not yet started and that were scheduled after the original schedule.
Thanks go to @ghalley for giving me the idea for this article.
Until next time
Grand Slam Gal
*Note – This document is completely unofficial and was written by me for fun
Please view Wimbledon’s protocol for use of the roof here.