By Scott Martin (@RaceWx4You)
The forecast is still on track for Saturday at VIR as the dome of high pressure has been forced eastward out to see and a cold front with an associated center of low pressure makes its way towards the area. We may have some patchy fog to start off the morning, but that should quickly lift by 8:00 am or so. After that, skies will be mostly clear, but you will notice that the clouds will build in coverage throughout the day. A stray shower may be possible during the late morning hours, but I believe any rain chances will hold off until the early afternoon hours. At this point, I'm going with a 30% chance of a few scattered showers and storms during the afternoon, with the higher chances of heavier storms move in just before sunset. Afternoon highs will top out in the mid-80s and winds will be light and variable through the day. Winds are expected to pick up a little right at the beginning of the evening hours as the cold front gets closer to the area.
By Scott Martin (@RaceWx4You)
A big dome of high pressure will be sitting over the area on Friday, allowing the sinking air to squash any chance for any thunderstorm development throughout the day. Skies will start off mostly cloudy, with the possibility of some patchy fog during the early morning hours. The good news is that the fog will be gone by the time the cars take to the track later in the morning. Clouds will dissipate somewhat throughout the day, ending up mostly clear by sunset. Afternoon highs will top out in the lower 80s (and I may have actually been too conservative with the high as the mid-80s are not out of the realm of possibility).
Unfortunately, the high pressure gets quickly pushed off of the coast and is replaced by a center of low pressure and an associated cold front. Skies will be mostly sunny for much of the day and temperatures will be warmer as warm air will be advected into the area from the south. By the time the afternoon arrives, there will be enough lift from the approaching front and instability from the daytime heating to fire off a few scattered showers and storms. Chances will be around 30% while cars are on the track, but those will increase after sunset as the front arrives in the area. Afternoon highs will be in the mid-80s and there will be very little wind to help cool you off. Be sure to stay hydrated, wear your hats and shades, and don't forget to sunscreen up.
By Scott Martin.
Looking at the long range models for this weekend's Trans Am event at Watkins Glen, rain will be in the forecast nearly for every day with the exception of Friday. Thursday looks to have showers and thunderstorms in the area throughout a good part of the day, with much of the activity finally moving out by the late afternoon and into the early evening hours.
Friday will be a little cooler with mostly cloudy skies and surface winds out of the north at 5-10 MPH. Saturday looks to be mainly dry, but there is a very small risk of an isolated shower during the late afternoon and early evening hours.
Sunday looks to be the wettest day of the weekend at this point, as moisture associated with the remnants of Gordon moves into and over the area. The 06z GFS showing as much as 1-inch of rain falling over the area during the morning and into the early afternoon hours, if this model pans out. Rainfall will be less in coverage after that, but still a decent chance of rain for the area.
By Scott Martin
We may have some rain to deal with during the event weekend at Road America, but the good news is that the most of that will come on Friday. With that being said, there is a small chance of the wet stuff on Saturday and Sunday.
Friday will be the wettest day of the three, with a slight chance of a shower or storm during the morning hours, but with the heating of the day we'll see more showers and storms developing back to the west associated with a low. Those early showers will be isolated to scattered in nature, but the later storms will be more in coverage. Winds will be a little gusty at times as well, up to 25 MPH at times. For the most part, winds will be out of the south at 10-15 MPH. Afternoon highs will be up in the mid-70s, and the chance of rain at this point is around 50%.
At this point, it looks like the main concentration of showers and storms should be out of the area by 8AM on Saturday morning, but it will remain a little breezy and mostly cloudy. There may be a lingering shower afterwords for a couple of hours, but the chances of that are really small. Saturday's high will be in the lower 80s, with winds out of the southwest at 10-15 MPH.
Sunday will be the best looking day at the track with mostly sunny skies. With the heating of the day we could see the development of an isolated shower or storm around the area, and the chances of one passing over the track is around 20%. It will be warmer and not as breezy, with highs topping out in the mid-80s, and winds out of the southwest at 5-10 MPH.
By Doug Schneider
There's some good news and some bad news with the forecast update for racing at Mid-Ohio. The good news is that the chance of rain has dropped enough on Saturday that I took any mention of rain out of the forecast for that day. The bad news is that the chance of rain is looking better on Friday, up to a 60% chance.
A cold front and an upper level trough will be moving across the upper Great Lakes on Thursday. The arrival of any storms with this front in Ohio should be late enough on Thursday evening that it should not impact any of the activity on the track that day, so I'm keeping Thursday rain-free. There may be some storms that arrive in the Mid-Ohio area in the evening, possibly as early as 8 pm.
The front will still be in the Mid-Ohio area on Friday, and it will be the focus for numerous showers and thunderstorms to develop during the day. Coverage of showers in the morning will be scattered, with increasing coverage in the afternoon. So while there is a chance of rain at any time of the day, the afternoon hours will have the greatest chance of storms impacting the action. Rainfall amounts between a tenth and a quarter inch can be expected. Lightning will be a threat, so if you're at the track, have a plan before the storms arrive to find adequate shelter.
The models have some differences of where the front will be for Saturday, but the majority seem to indicate that it will be south of Mid-Ohio, with drier and more stable air building in on the heels of a northerly wind flow. One model, the NAM, holds the front back and produces some showers in the area Saturday morning. I think the most likely scenario is that the showers and storms develop south of the track, and thus I'm going with a rain-free forecast on Saturday. Hopefully that pans out and there will be at least one nice weather day for racing.
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.