By Scott Martin.
The forecast for this weekend's ABC Supply 500 at Pocono Raceway at this point doesn't look all that bad at this point. Saturday will be a very nice day out at the track with plenty of sun and just a few clouds. Temperatures will be mild, topping out in the mid-70s. Winds will be out of the northwest at 3-7 MPH. Troughing will move into the area late on Saturday and into the day on Sunday and could possibly bring a passing shower to the area on Sunday afternoon, but at this point, those chances look small. Skies will continue to be mostly sunny unless a shower does approach the track, and highs will once again be in the mid-70s.
By: Stephen McCoy
Low level cloud cover will likely dominate the day, with conditions starting clear to partly cloudy in the morning, then transitioning to more heavier cloud cover into the afternoon and evening. Moisture in the lower levels will remain over much of central Ohio through the day as light winds will be present, resulting in the cloudy conditions. Surface winds will be variable, starting from the south to southwest before moving to the north to northeast towards the end of the day; the shift in winds is primarily caused by an area of high pressure at the surface slowly tracking northeastward from the Midwest into New England.
By: Stephen McCoy
As a longwave upper level trough track eastward over the northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, upper level winds over the Midwest will continue from the west to northwest on Saturday, bringing dry air into the region and keeping upper level conditions clear. Moist air in the low levels of the atmosphere will likely result in partly cloudy conditions for much of the day, with cloud cover increasing as the day progresses. High pressure at the surface will continue to slowly move into the region, keeping temperatures below normal through light winds from the west and northwest.
The area of high pressure is expected to build in over central Ohio on Sunday, causing variable shifts in the wind direction at the surface. Low level winds will continue to bring moisture and cloud cover into the region; however at the upper levels, winds will shift to the southwest. This will also bring moisture into central Ohio and increase cloud cover for the day.
By: Stephen McCoy
The most notable change to the forecast in this update is the addition of a slight chance for showers on Friday afternoon. A cold front is still expected to move eastward through the Midwest Thursday night into Friday morning, bringing a chance for rain in the early morning and is the cause for the below normal temperatures for the weekend. Where the forecast differs from Monday's forecast is in the low to mid levels in the atmosphere, where more moist air is expected during the day. The result is a slight chance of scattered showers in central Ohio around the time of the second practice session.
However, something to mention is the models are in slight disagreement with the potential for precipitation during the day on Friday, with the GFS and ECMWF both indicating a slight chance while the NAM shows drier air in the mid levels and at the surface and no precipitation. My confidence for Friday's chances for precipitation is around 50/50, due primarily to the dispute among the models. The next update should provide a clearer picture for precipitation chances.
Conditions remain mostly consistent for Saturday and Sunday, though in contrast to the previous forecast, the GFS and ECMWF show drier air over the region on Sunday. Because of this, precipitation chances drop off with temperatures slightly lower than the previous forecast.
By: Stephen McCoy
Below normal temperatures are expected for this weekend's Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with some slight chances of scattered showers that shouldn't affect the on-track action as of now.
A cold front associated with a low pressure system over eastern Canada will move eastward through the Midwest Thursday night into early Friday morning, bringing a slight chance of scattered showers into the area. Westerly wind behind the front at the surface and northwesterly winds in the low to mid levels of the atmosphere will bring cooler air into the region relative to average temperatures for this time of year. Partly cloudy conditions are likely during the day on Friday, with most cloud cover located in the lower levels.
Behind the cold front, an area of high pressure will build into the Midwest late Friday and into Saturday. With the center of the system to the west of the track, winds will be primarily from the north and northwest during the day on Saturday, bringing cool air into the region from southern Canada. Moist air in the lower and upper levels of the atmosphere means some heavier cloud cover will persist for much of the day, but with the high pressure system, any chance of precipitation is unlikely.
I'm not very confident about Sunday's forecast and I expect it to change during the week. At the moment, the GFS and ECMWF models disagree about the conditions on Sunday, as the GFS indicates a chance for scattered showers while the ECMWF keeps conditions dry. The GFS shows a warm front extending from a low pressure system in the southern plains, with winds from the south bringing warm, moist air to the region. The ECMWF doesn't include the same system in its latest run and shows easterly winds for Sunday. Again, I expect things to change once more model data is available so look later in the week for a more definitive forecast.
Doug Schneider, Scott Martin, and Stephen McCoy 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.