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.
By Doug Schneider - @Race4caster
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:
By Scott Martin - @RaceWx4You
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.
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, Pro Mazda, USF2000, IMSA, Pirelli World Challenge, World Endurance Championship, and Trans Am Series races, as well as major SCCA and NASA events.