By Doug Schneider - @Race4caster
There have been some big shifts in how the models depict the weather pattern evolving over Detroit this weekend. I have very low confidence in this forecast, due to the models changing their tune back and forth between dry and wet. With so much uncertainty, I cannot make the forecast very detailed or specific in regard to timing of rain. But based on the latest model runs, it looks like there will be at least a chance of rain at the track each day. I wish I could make a forecast with greater confidence one way or the other, but sometimes we just have to admit that we don't know what will happen.
The Detroit Grand Prix is always a big event packed with racing action, as IndyCar, IMSA WeatherTech Championship, and the Trans Am Championship will all be racing on the streets of Belle Isle Park. The weather could cause some problems on Friday, but the rest of the weekend is looking good so far.
On Friday, the Detroit area will be in a warm and moist south to southwesterly flow, while a cold front will be pushing south across the upper Great Lakes. In the warm, moist air mass ahead of the front, there will likely be showers and thunderstorms. The question of timing is too uncertain this far out to be very specific, but I think the afternoon will have better rain chances than the morning. At this time, I have the impact on racing as moderate, meaning there will be wet conditions and possibly some delays in the schedule. I could see the impact becoming high with later forecast updates if the rain will be heavy, but that is too uncertain right now.
The cold front will move through Friday night, bringing a drier and cooler air mass to the area from the north. Saturday looks like great racing weather, with mostly sunny skies and highs in the upper 60s.
There is a little uncertainty about Sunday, but I'm going with a dry and mostly sunny forecast. Some previous model runs had shown the cold front lifting back to the north and bringing more rain on Sunday, but the latest models are in better agreement with each other that the front will remain to the south of Detroit. I'll feel more confident in the dry forecast with additional model runs that continue to show this trend.
Here are the forecast graphics for the other series that will be in action at Belle Isle:
The latest model runs are in and I believe that the 101st Running of the Indianapolis 500 will remain dry throughout the entire event. There will be storms during the pre-dawn hours but will be out of the area well before 8AM. The skies will be mostly cloudy throughout the day, but conditions will be favorable for dry weather until around 2PM when a few scattered showers and thunderstorms will begin to develop. I do believe that those will stay west of the track until after the checkered flag falls, but I'm going to leave a 10% chance of a shower reaching the track before the end. It is almost not worth mentioning in the forecast, but this is racing on an oval with slick tires... any moisture could cause a problem. Therefore the 10%. The afternoon high will be around 80 degrees, and winds will be out of the southwest at 5-8 MPH.
Radar is up and running, and you can view it on your smart phone as well. I'm crossing my fingers that the forecast holds up throughout the night. I'll have another update in the AM.
Believe it or not, I think Mother Nature is going to cooperate with us and allow Legends Day today and the Indianapolis 500 tomorrow to go on without any major delay or disruptions. We will have to deal with strong to possibly severe storms tonight through the overnight hours, but those will be gone in enough time for the big race on Sunday.
There should be no problems at all during the day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway as far as the weather is concerned. Skies will be mostly cloudy throughout the day, which will bring a little relief to those who are sensitive to the sun, and the afternoon high will be around 80 degrees. Winds will be light out of the northwest at 1-3 MPH.
As far as tonight is concerned, there is the possibility of some strong to severe storms that could move through the area after 11PM associated with a mesoscale convective system. The Storm Prediction Center has the Indianapolis area in a slight risk for severe storms throughout tonight and into the morning hours on Sunday. The good news is that the storms will be on a weakening trend as they reach Central Indiana, but the threat of damaging winds and hail are still possible. The threat of tornadoes will be rather low, but not zero. Please stay weather aware tonight, especially if you are camping at the speedway.
The line of storms should diminish around sunrise, and much of the daytime hours should remain dry on Sunday at the speedway. There could be an isolated shower or two pop up during the afternoon hours, but a relatively strong cap will be in place keeping any storms from developing. So I'm thinking optimistically and going with the race starting on time and racing to full distance. Skies will be mostly cloudy throughout the day, and the afternoon high will top out around 79 degrees. Winds will be out of the south-southwest to the west-southwest at 5-10 MPH. If a shower pops up and moves over the track, it should not last long and the rain amount will be light. The chance for rain at the track is 20%.
Most of the models are agreeing and keeping Indianapolis dry throughout the day, but the GFS is keeping moisture around. Normally the GFS model is not the best at guessing convective activity, so I'm sticking with the NAM-3k mainly for the forecast. I'm crossing my fingers that I am right.
I think today is going to be a great day in Indianapolis, Looking at the latest HRRR, rain stays away from the area throughout the day, but storms look to move into the area around or just after 7PM tonight and will be quick out of the area around or just after 2AM Saturday morning. There is a potential for these storms to be strong to severe, and the Storm Prediction Center has a marginal risk for severe storms up for the area throughout the day until 8AM Saturday. If you're out and about, or if you're camping out, keep weather aware. For during the daytime hours at the track, there will be no problems. Skies will be mostly sunny, and the high will be around 79 degrees. Winds will be out of the south at 3-6 MPH.
Saturday is going to turn out to be another great day at the track, as skies will be partly to mostly cloudy throughout the day. The afternoon high will be around 79 degrees. Winds will be out of the north-northwest at 2-5 MPH. For the night time hours, there is a slight risk for severe storms in the Indianapolis area, mainly for another line of storms that is expected to move through during the overnight hours around or just after 1AM. The main threats will be from damaging winds and large hail, and there is a possibility for a few tornadoes as well. The latest NAM-3k model run is keeping the storms just south of Indianapolis, but not far enough to be comfortable to say there is no risk. Once again, stay weather aware, especially if you're camping out.
I may have some good news for Sunday for the Indianapolis 500. The latest run of the NAM-3k is keeping the main bulk of the rain and storm activity well to the south of Indianapolis. There will be another wave of storms that will be approaching the area, but it looks like it won't reach the area until well after the race is over. Now I am not ruling out a scattered shower or a brief thunderstorm to move over the track during the day, but as of now, it doesn't look all that bad. So my official forecast would be: Storms ending before 8AM, then skies will be mostly cloudy throughout the day. A passing shower or thunderstorm is possible during the day, but the likelihood of that is small at this point. The afternoon high is expected to be around 77 degrees, and the winds will be out of the south at 5-8 MPH. Chance of rain from 10AM-4PM will be around 20%.
Radar is up and running on the site, so feel free to use it at anytime. It refreshes every 60 seconds, so it will update the latest radar image in from the NWS Indianapolis as soon as it is uploaded. I'll have more updates throughout the weekend, especially on Sunday if rain develops around the track area.
Light rain has been around Lime Rock Park today, with around two tenths of an inch recorded at a nearby rain gauge. An upper level low pressure system is located to the west today, and will track east overnight. It will be positioned near Boston by Friday morning.
Some moisture will continue to wrap around the counter-clockwise circulation of the low into Friday, which will keep a good chance of showers in the forecast as cars hit the track. The good news is that any rain on Friday is expected to be light. It may only be on/off sprinkles. The total amount of rain on Friday will likely be under a tenth of an inch, so I expect that the impact on racing will be low. Some wet tires will probably have to be used at some point, probably for the morning sessions, but I don't foresee significant weather delays or cancellations. If you're attending the race, you may want to bring an umbrella. With a northwest wind and cloudy skies, temperatures will be pretty cool all day, mainly in the 50s.
Saturday looks like a great day to be at the track, and any chance of rain will end as the low moves farther away. Pleasant temperatures in the upper 60s are expected, with sunshine peeking through the clouds at times.
The good news is that I have removed any rain chances out of the forecast for the Carb Day Festivities and the running of the Freedom 100. Skies will be mostly cloudy and the high will top out around 78 degrees. Winds will be out of the south at 3-7 MPH. Storms will move in for the evening, but well after the Steve Miller Band completes their show.
Storms from the overnight and pre-dawn hours should be coming to a end before 8AM when the gates open at the track. Skies will be mostly cloudy throughout the day, as there will be a break throughout the morning into the early afternoon hours. Shower and storm chances begin to rise after 2PM, but just slightly. Good news is that the main bulk of the storms will move in after 8PM, well after the track closes for the day. The afternoon high will top out around 80 degrees, and winds will be out of the south to southwest at 3-8 MPH. The chance of rain throughout the day at the track is 30%.
Here is where we may have some gnashing of teeth due to the weather. Looking at the latest model runs of the NAM and the GFS, there will be moderate to heavy rain/storms throughout the morning hours until 7-8AM. Then there will be a dry slot that opens of for Central Indiana from then until at least 2PM on both models (NAM-left, GFS-right), and the GFS keeps it dry until 8PM. So according to these model runs, the track should be dry for the scheduled race time. Double-checking with the NWS Indianapolis office, there are keeping the rain chances in throughout the day. Even though the amounts will be light, there is a possibility of a few delays. I'm going to side with the NWS right now until I can see when the high-resolution models come in to play. Skies will be mostly cloudy, and there will be a chance of rain throughout the day. The high will top out around 77 degrees, with winds out of the west to northwest at 5-7 MPH. Chance of rain as of now will be at 50%.
Once the timeframe for the high-resolution models come in to play, I can only cross my fingers and hope that the GFS and NAM models are correct. I will be able to nail the forecast down within 24 hours. Radar is up and running, so please feel free to use it and stay up to date with where the rain is happening.
This weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 101st running of the Indy 500 is starting to get that "iffy" look to it. There will be a system moving through the area starting on Friday evening and will not leave until the late afternoon hours on Sunday. We should be able to get the race in on Sunday at full completion, but will we have some delays? That is the main question. Here is the forecast as of now...
The day will start off with mostly clear skies, but clouds will be on the increase during the day. It will be dry during the morning and early afternoon hours, but the chances of an afternoon shower/storm rises to about 1 in 5 for the remainder of the daytime hours due to the approach of an upper wave. Good news is that if any rain occurs, the amounts will be very light, and delays will be short if any at all. Afternoon high will be around 76 degrees, and winds will be out of the southwest to the south at 3-6 MPH.
That upper wave will have the possibility of bringing some strong storms to the area during the evening on Friday into the day on Saturday. An unstable airmass with the wave will allow for robust convection, and the highest threat for strong to severe storms will be across Central Indiana. There will be a wave of storms moving through before 8AM, then a lull in the action until the mid afternoon hours, and scattered storm development picks back up throughout the rest of the day. Too early to know what the strength or what threats will be, but Saturday needs to be a day to stay weather aware. The high will top out around 80 degrees. Rain chances are over 50% to start with, then drop to around 20% during the lull in action, and finish off near 50% for the late afternoon into the night time hours. Rain totals of 1/2 inch will be possible.
As the wave moves through the area, rain and storm chances will begin to drop throughout the day. Skies will start off mostly cloudy, but will begin to clear out some as the afternoon progresses. The high should top out around 76 degrees, with winds out of the west-southwest at 5-10 MPH. Rain chances start off at 40% during the morning, and drops to around 30% by noon. Good news is that if any rain occurs, the amounts will be very light, and delays will be short if any at all.
Looking at the forecast ahead for the weekend's events at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, I really do think that much of the on-track activity, if not all, will remain dry. We may have a few showers after the Freedom 100 on Friday and after the Indy 500 on Sunday, but Saturday will probably be a day featuring a few passing showers affecting the area throughout the day and into the evening. Here are the details...
Latest GFS model run remains dry for much of the day, but a brief shower is possible after 2PM. Otherwise skies will be mostly sunny, with the afternoon highs in the upper 70s, around 77. Winds will be shifting from the west to the southwest by the late afternoon, averaging around 5 MPH. Chance of rain is really low during the afternoon, at 20%.
There is a small chance for rain during the morning and early afternoon hours, then increasing during the late afternoon and evening hours. It will be a mostly cloudy day, and highs will be in the upper 70s to near 80 degrees, going for 79 degrees at this point. Winds will be out of the south to southwest around 5 MPH. Rain chances before 2PM will be around 10%, but increasing to 30% after.
It will be a day that features a mix of sun and clouds, and there is a very small chance of a shower or storm during the day. Rain chances during the race will be around 20%, and will rise to 30% after 2PM if the race goes into that hour. I have a strong feeling at this point that the race will be dry. Afternoon highs will be in the upper 70s, near 78 degrees. Winds will mainly be out of the west at 5-8 MPH.
An unsettled weather pattern this week across the northeastern states will bring some rain to Lime Rock Park for Thursday and Friday, but conditions will be improving for race day.
As teams load into the track on Thursday, low pressure over Ohio will pump moist air into New England. This moist air will ride up and over a warm front that will be located near Long Island, and will likely produce a good amount of rain at the track. Thursday definitely looks like the wettest of the three days.
The center of the surface low pressure will track across northeast Connecticut Friday morning, continuing to Boston and off the coast of Maine by the evening. This will take the bulk of the heavier rain east of the track, but there will still be moisture wrapping around the upper level trough and a little instability that will keep a chance of showers in the area. I think the greatest coverage of showers will be on Friday morning, with less coverage through the afternoon. But right now, I'm not entirely confident with how fast this system will move east, so there could be scattered showers around all day. I do not expect that there will be heavy rain that will cause cancellations or major delays like we saw at CTMP - more of a light on/off rain rather than a steady moderate/heavy rain - so I have the impact on Friday as low.
Saturday will be the best day of the event as the low moves away and high pressure builds in. With partly cloudy skies and temperatures around 70 degrees, it looks just about perfect for racing.
In the forecast graphic, I have chosen a picture of Andrew Palmer's car from last year at Lime Rock Park as a reminder that he is still recovering from injuries sustained in a terrible crash at the track last year. Please keep Andrew and his family in your prayers.
A cold front has moved through southern Ontario, bringing much cooler temperatures today. The cool temperatures will continue through Saturday as high pressure moves east across Ontario and Quebec, as highs will be near 60. There will be more sunshine on Saturday compared to today, but clouds will start to increase again in the afternoon ahead of the next system.
There hasn't been much change in the expected weather for Sunday. There is still a very high chance of seeing rain at the track, and I expect that rain amounts all day will be between 0.2 and 0.5 inches. This could be enough to cause some delays to the action at times. There is still some disagreement in the models regarding the timing of rain, but the chance of rain will likely be rising through the morning, peaking around midday, and falling through the afternoon. I don't think the day will be a total washout though. The wet conditions will make for some interesting racing.
Overall, there hasn't been too much change in my thinking for the weather forecast at CTMP this weekend. There's going to be beautiful weather on Friday and Saturday, but Sunday continues to look pretty wet.
A low pressure system will pull a cold front across southern Ontario on Thursday night, and there could be some scattered showers and thunderstorms ahead of it. The most likely timing for any chance of rain appears to be in the late afternoon and evening hours, so a vast majority of the day will stay dry with warm temperatures. I only have a 30% chance of rain before track activities end at 6:20 pm. There will be a higher chance of rain after that time when the front moves through.
Friday will be breezy and cooler as high pressure builds into the area behind the cold front. It will be mostly sunny, but temperatures will only reach the lower 60s (upper teens Celsius). Saturday will also be quite nice, with less wind and slightly warmer temperatures. Clouds will be increasing through the day ahead of the next low pressure system.
The cold front that moved through on Thursday night will lift back to the north to near Lake Ontario on Saturday night, and as the center of the low pressure system moves across Michigan, a moist southerly flow up and over this warm front will result in a wet day on Sunday. I have high confidence that there will be rain on Sunday, so I have raised the chance of rain to 80%. The most likely amount of rain at the track on Sunday appears to be between 0.2 and 0.5 inches, or between 5 and 13 mm. Periods of rain are possible at any time of the day, so I think that all action on the track will be affected. This could result in some delays or possibly cancellations of events, depending on how heavy the rain will be.
I plan on having another forecast update posted on Friday, unless there is a major change before then.
With ridging in control of Central Indiana's weather, Wednesday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be mostly sunny but quite breezy at times. Winds will be averaging between 15-25 MPH out of the south-southwest, but gusts up to 35 to near 40 MPH are possible. Temperatures will be in the upper 70s at 10AM when the gates open, and the high will be around 86 degrees in the afternoon.
An approaching front is expected to stall out in or near the southern part of the state, and this will bring a slight chance of a shower or thunderstorm during the morning through the early afternoon hours. The front may creep ever-so-slowly southward reducing the rain chances for the remainder of the on-track time. Expect a mix of sun and clouds, with winds continuing to be breezy out of the southwest at 10-15 MPH with gust up to 25 MPH possible at times. 10AM temps will be in the lower 70s, and the high will top out around 82 degrees. Chance of rain before 2PM is 30%.
The stalled front will be forced northward during the day on Friday, bringing an increased chance of showers and storms especially during the late afternoon. It will be a mostly cloudy day with much calmer winds starting off out of the northeast and shifting to out of the east-southeast by late afternoon. Temperatures start off in the upper 60s at 10AM, and warming to near 78 for the high. Rain chances are low before 2PM, around 20%, but increase after that to 50%.
A low pressure center will be moving across the upper midwest on Saturday continuing to force the ever-so-slow moving front northward across Central Indiana on Saturday, and will drag a trailing cold front across the area on Sunday. Shower and storm chances appear to be likely throughout the day on Saturday, with rain totals of 1/2 inch possible. Not saying that Saturday is going to be a complete washout, but on-track activities may be halted a few times. Sunday's rain chances are a little lower for "Pole Day," but only slightly. Another day that will have stoppages, but not a complete washout. Saturday's high will be around 81, with Sunday's high cooler, around 75.
The weather at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park this weekend will be affected by a couple of low pressure systems and frontal passages, making for a weekend of varied weather.
The first low pressure system will move across the upper Great Lakes and central Ontario on Thursday, This will bring scattered showers to the area around the track through the day. There will also be a good southwest wind at 10 to 20 mph all day, which will help temperatures warm up into the 70s.
The cold front associated with the low will cross the area and settle to the south on Thursday night, which will bring an end to the rain chances and usher in some cooler and drier. air. Friday looks like a beautiful day at the track, with a high in the upper 60s and mostly sunny skies. Winds will shift to the north behind the front, and it will still be breezy.
Saturday should continue to have nice weather as high pressure moves east across Ontario, with some increasing clouds ahead of the next low pressure system. It looks like any chance of rain will hold off until after dark.
Sunday isn't looking good right now. For the past few days, the models have been showing a low pressure system that will track east across the Great Lakes during the day. As a result, the front that moved through on Thursday night will lift back to the north as a warm front, which will produce a high chance of rain on Sunday. The models are in pretty good agreement with this scenario, so I have a 70% rain chance on Sunday. There is a good southwesterly flow of moisture up and over this warm front, so it appears that rain amounts could be pretty high, with heavy rainfall possible at times. This is why I have a high impact on Sunday - if the current models hold up, I could see some significant delays or cancellations to the races.
I'll have a better idea of potential rain amounts in the next few days, so stay tuned for updates.
Now we've got the wet stuff out of here, let's get some sun and warmer temperatures into Indianapolis for the Indycar Grand Prix.
Skies will start off mostly cloudy at the 8AM hour, with temperatures at or around 50 degrees. As the day progresses, the clouds will begin to thin out and skies will be mostly clear by the end of the afternoon. The winds will be out of the north-northeast at 6-11 MPH, and will be at their strongest point during the mid to late afternoon hours. Afternoon highs will be in the upper 60s, topping out around 68 degrees.
Race day for the Verizon Indycar Series will be a much brighter and warmer day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Skies will be start off mostly sunny and remain that way throughout the day, even though a few more clouds will develop with the heating of the day. Temperatures will start off around 49 degrees at the 8AM hour, and rise into the lower 70s by the afternoon, around 73 degrees. Winds will start off out of the north-northwest at 2-9 MPH, but will be turning out of the west by the end of the afternoon hours.
The forecast for Trans Am at Road Atlanta today through Saturday is panning out pretty much as expected, but I've made a few small changes today.
Today's weather will start off mostly cloudy, and there are a few light sprinkles showing up on radar this morning, but much of it is not reaching the ground. I can't rule out a few drops of rain this morning, but since it won't be enough to measure, I'm not forecasting any chance of rain today. There will be some clouds remaining through the day, but the afternoon should see more sunshine than the morning. Highs will be warm, in the upper 80s, and winds will be from the west at 10 to 15 mph this afternoon.
Friday will likely see more cloud cover than today as a low pressure system approaches from the west. This will keep temperatures cooler, in the lower 80s. Showers and thunderstorms are expected to arrive at the track after activities are done, mainly 5 pm or later. So even though I have a 50% chance of rain in the forecast, no impact on racing is expected on Friday.
Showers and thunderstorms will move through on Friday night with the passage of a cold front, but some showers may linger into Saturday morning until the upper level trough exits. Scattered light showers will be around the track through the morning, and the track will likely remain wet for the morning's TA/TA3/TA4 race. The chance of showers will be gone by noon, and the rest of the day should have improving conditions with some sunshine breaking through at times. Winds will shift to the northwest on Saturday, bringing cooler temperatures in the mid 70s.
Well with today's forecast update for the Indycar Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, some big changes have been made, but they are ones that everyone will probably like.
There will be a system moving through the area during the overnight and early morning hours on Thursday, and rain chances look to linger into the afternoon hours. Rain will be likely before 10AM, with it dropping to around a 50/50 chance afterwords. There may be a few claps of thunder, but the overall thunderstorm chances look low for now. When it's not raining, skies will be cloudy. Temperatures will start off at upper 50s at 8AM, around 59, and will rise to the upper 60s for the high, around 68 degrees. Winds will be out of the northwest at 3-8 MPH.
Skies will start off partly cloudy but the clouds will be on the decrease throughout the day, as the system that brought rain to the area on the previous days moves farther away. Temperatures will start off in the lower 50s at 8AM, but will rise nicely into the upper 80s for the afternoon high, around 68 degrees. Winds will be out of the north-northeast at 5-8 MPH.
The fair weather will continue into race day at the speedway. The morning will start off mostly clear, with the temperatures in the lower 50s at 8AM. The clouds will build throughout the day, making the skies partly cloudy, but these clouds will not have any rain associated with them. Afternoon highs will top out in the upper 60s, around 69 degrees. Winds will be out of the west-northwest at 3-7 MPH.
I will have radar up and running by tomorrow morning. Check back on our social media feeds and on the site for the latest updates.
Road Atlanta will host the third round of the Trans Am Championship this weekend, and although the forecast graphic has a chance of shower and storms mentioned on two out of the three days, I don't expect that the weather will be too bad for racing.
A large high pressure ridge will be over the Southeast on Thursday, which will provide sunny skies and warm temperatures. Highs will reach the upper 80s, with no chance of rain.
The high pressure ridge will give way on Friday as a low pressure system approaches from the northwest. Friday will start off mostly sunny, but clouds will be increasing through the afternoon. There are some timing differences in the models right now regarding the time that showers and storms could arrive, but I think the most likely time is after 3 pm - after on-track activities have ended for the day. The weather impact on Friday is green, as the day's activities should go through with no problems.
There will likely be showers and thunderstorms on Friday night as the cold front associated with the low pressure system moves through. Around a quarter inch of rain will be possible Friday night. But the upper level trough will drag behind the front, which could keep some scattered showers going into Saturday morning. The TA/TA3/TA4 race begins at 8:55 am, and there is a chance that it will be affected by rain. I could see a wet start to the race, or perhaps a delay to the race, so I have a yellow flag for low impact. Any rain on Saturday morning should be light, just a tenth of an inch or less. Conditions will be improving through the day, and there could be some sunshine breaking through in the afternoon.
I plan on having another forecast update posted either Thursday or Friday, depending on how much the outlook changes.
At this point leading up to this upcoming weekend's Indycar Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the forecast is not all that bad at all... but it is way better than last year's event if I remember correctly.
Thursday looks to be a mostly cloudy, if not a completely overcast day, at the track. The latest GFS model is painting moisture in and around the area throughout the day, but the good news is that much of the rainfall will be before the 7AM hour and after the 7PM hour. So much of the day, if not all, will be dry at the Brickyard. I'm including a very small chance of an isolated shower or two to move in or across the area, with the odds of receiving rain at 1 in 5 (20%). If any rain falls, it will not be heavy with totals of less than 1/10th of an inch likely... thunder is not expected at all. Afternoon highs will be in the upper 60s, near 68 degrees. Winds will be light out of the north at 3-6 MPH.
Friday may be the best day of the week, as dry conditions are expected as of now throughout the day. It looks to be a mostly cloudy day, but I wouldn't be surprised if the sun broke through a few times. Afternoon highs will be in the mid 60s, around 65 degrees. Winds will once again be light out of the north-northeast at 3-6 MPH. The odds for rain is not an absolute zero, but the chances are so low that they are not worth mentioning at this point.
Clouds will once again be covering the sky across the Indianapolis area for Saturday, and there is a very small risk for an isolated shower at some point during the day... most likely during the afternoon hours. Odds are better than what they were on Friday, but less than Thursday... so less than 1 in 5 (20%). Rain will be light, if any falls, and totals will be well less than 1/10th of an inch. No thunder is expected at all. Afternoon highs will once again be in the mid 60s, around 65 degrees.
I'll have a better look at the forecast tomorrow, especially with a good look at the high-resolution models when those come in. I will have radar up and running on Thursday. Check back on our social media feeds and on the site for the latest updates.
The entire Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps is expected to remain dry, but rain will be on the doorstep near the end of the race.
The day will start with sunny skies, but clouds will be increasing through the afternoon. Temperatures will be quite pleasant, with highs in the lower 60s. In the closing hours of the race, clouds will be covering the entire sky. During this time, rain will be spreading across central and northern France, moving toward the northeast. The expected arrival time of the rain at the track is between 9 pm and 11 pm. The race ends at 8:30 pm, so it's going to be very close.
A link to radar for Belgium can be found here.
Not much change to the forecast, except that the strong storms that affected eastern Texas on Wednesday has moved out just a little faster than first modeled. This will actually bring even better conditions at Circuit of the Americas on Thursday. Other than that, just some fiddling around with the temperatures and that's about it.
THURSDAY (8:00AM - 5:00PM CDT)
At 8:00AM, skies will be mainly clear for the beginning of the on-track activities, and temperatures will start off at or near 60 degrees. With the system moving out a little faster on Wednesday evening, this will allow the winds to be a little calmer as the cold front will be further away. Skies will be sunny, no rain, and the afternoon high in the upper 70s, around 77 degrees. Winds will be out of the north to north-northwest at 10-15 MPH.
FRIDAY (8:00AM - 7:25PM CDT)
Winds will be much calmer throughout the day on Friday, and skies will be absolutely clear. 8:00AM temperatures will start off in the mid 50s, around 56 degrees, and climb into the lower 80s for the afternoon high, around 81 degrees. Winds will be out of the north-northwest to north at 6-12 MPH throughout the day.
SATURDAY (8:40AM - 4:15PM CDT)
A very near repeat of Friday's weather for Saturday, with wind direction and high temperature being the only differences. Temperatures will start off in the mid 50s, around 55, at 8:00AM, and will climb into the mid 80s for the daytime high, around 84 degrees. Skies will be sunny throughout the day, and winds will be out of the south to south-southeast at 5-10 MPH.
If this forecast holds true throughout the remainder of the week, I'll be using our radar for severe weather coverage in my home state of Alabama on Thursday. I don't believe that will be an issue with rain being unlikely. I'll have updates on our social media feeds and on the blog.
There have been some changes to the outlook for the weather at Spa Francorchamps this weekend. In Monday''s forecast post, I mentioned a front that would be to the south across France, which would be the focus for rain over the weekend. With the latest model data, it appears that a low pressure center will be tracking east along the front, which will spread rain a little farther north into Belgium. However, the good news is that most of that rain will be coming on Saturday night, so the race on Saturday should have nice weather.
Thursday still looks like quite a wet day at the track as a low pressure system will be moving east across the region, and it may affect the amount of practice time that teams have. It doesn't appear to be a very heavy rain, more of a steady light to moderate soaking that could bring around a quarter of an inch of rain (around 6 mm). I think there could be enough standing water to cause practice sessions to be delayed or canceled.
Friday will start with cloudy skies as the low pressure system moves farther away, but conditions should be improving through the day. At least some partial sunshine is expected in the afternoon, and high temperatures will be in the mid 50s.
Race day on Saturday will likely have the best weather of the event, with mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies, and temperatures reaching the lower 60s. Clouds will likely be increasing through the day, and rain is expected to start to move into the area around sunset. However, all signs point to rain holding off until well after the race ends.
A very quiet forecast for the event weekend out at Circuit Of The Americas will be great news for the fans and for the on-track action out in Austin, Texas. An upper-level ridge will be building in from the west starting on Thursday, and will be firmly in place throughout Saturday, keeping the weather nice.
THURSDAY (8:00AM - 5:00PM CDT)
At 8:00AM, skies will be mainly clear for the beginning of the on-track activities, and temperatures will start off at or near 60 degrees. It will be breezy at that time and throughout the day, with winds out of the north at 10-15 MPH with gusts up to 25 MPH at times. That will be the only weather feature that could mess with the sessions, as skies will be sunny, no rain, and the afternoon high in the upper 70s, around 78 degrees.
FRIDAY (8:00AM - 7:25PM CDT)
Winds will be much calmer throughout the day on Friday, and skies will be absolutely clear. 8:00AM temperatures will start off in the mid 50s, around 56 degrees, and climb into the lower 80s for the afternoon high, around 81 degrees. Winds will be shifting out of the north-northwest to out of the northeast at 5-10 MPH throughout the day.
SATURDAY (8:40AM - 4:15PM CDT)
A very near repeat of Friday's weather for Saturday, with the only difference being the direction of the winds. Temperatures will start off in the upper 50s, around 58, at 8:00AM, and will climb into the lower 80s for the daytime high, around 82 degrees. Skies will be sunny throughout the day, and winds will be out of the southeast at 5-10 MPH.
If this forecast holds true throughout the remainder of the week, I'll be using our radar for severe weather coverage in my home state of Alabama on Thursday. I don't believe that will be an issue with rain being unlikely. I'll have updates on our social media feeds and on the blog.
The weather pattern over western Europe during the middle of the week will feature an area of low pressure that will be drifting eastward. Belgium will still be under the influence of this system on Thursday, so there will likely be numerous showers around the track for the opening practice sessions. With wet and cloudy conditions, temperatures will only be in the 40s on Thursday. Most of the rain showers should be fairly light, and I expect that rainfall amounts on Thursday will be between one and two tenths of an inch (2.5 to 5 mm).
The good news is that conditions should be improving through the weekend. The low pressure system will be tracking away on Friday, taking any chance of rain with it. Clouds will linger into Friday morning, but there should be at least a little sun by the afternoon which will bring temperatures up into the 50s.
There will be a stationary front across central France over the weekend, with high pressure over England. I expect that any rain will stay to the south of Belgium near that front, and the high pressure over England will have the greater influence on the weekend's weather. So my forecast for the weekend will be dry and partly cloudy, with highs in the upper 50s. However, there is some uncertainty about the positioning of the front, and if it ends up being farther north, I may need to add a chance of rain to the weekend with later forecast updates. Let's hope that doesn't happen.
Not much change to the forecast for VIR this weekend. Partly to mostly sunny skies are expected both Saturday and Sunday as high pressure will continue to dominate the weather pattern across the Southeast. Temperatures will reach their hottest on Saturday, with a high near 90 degrees. More cloud cover is expected on Sunday, which should give slightly cooler high temperatures, but still very warm, in the mid 80s.
In my last forecast, I mentioned some uncertainty about showers developing on Sunday afternoon, but I'm feeling more confident that the activities at the track will remain dry. The final TC race ends at 3:20 pm, and if showers are able to develop around the area, it will happen after the race ends. So I'm keeping the forecast dry with no impacts.
If you're at the track this weekend, don't forget to use the sunscreen and to drink plenty of water.
Doug Schneider and Scott Martin are race fans and meteorologists dedicated to providing accurate forecasts and timely weather updates at racing venues around the world. We forecast for IndyCar, Indy Lights/MRTI, IMSA, Pirelli World Challenge, World Endurance Championship, and Trans Am Series races, as well as major SCCA and NASA events.