The Bathurst 12 Hour is one of my favorite races of the year, and one reason is that it's a rare chance for me to do a forecast in the Southern Hemisphere. It's a little different since winds around low and high pressure system circulate in the opposite direction from the Northern Hemisphere, so a south wind brings colder air and a north wind brings warmer air.
The general pattern for late this week across Australia will be a high pressure system off the southern coast, near the Great Australian Bight, and west of Tasmania. It will remain fairly stationary through the weekend, but slight changes in the flow across New South Wales and its flow over the Blue Mountains will bring varying rain chances at Mount Panorama each day.
On Friday there will be southeasterly flow off the Tasman Sea into New South Wales. As moist air off the ocean hits the Blue Mountains, plus some afternoon heating, some showers will develop. I expect that the showers will stay mainly over the higher terrain of the mountains, and are not likely to move far enough west to reach Bathurst. Still, I did put a very low chance of a shower in for Friday afternoon because I can't completely rule it out at this point.
On Saturday, the flow turns to a slightly more southerly direction, and gets a little stronger. Showers will probably develop over the Blue Mountains again in the late morning to early afternoon, but with the stronger flow, they are more likely to reach Bathurst on Saturday than on Friday. So I have a higher chance of rain on Saturday afternoon.
On Sunday the high pressure ridge drifts a little closer to New South Wales, and this should have the effect of weakening the southeast winds. With weaker winds running over the Blue Mountains, there is less of a chance that showers will develop, so I have a dry forecast for Sunday.
Temperatures at last year's race were quite hot, but that shouldn't be a problem this year, thanks to the southeasterly winds. Temperatures will be quite pleasant each day, with highs in the mid to upper 70s (mid 20s C) on Friday and Saturday, and near 80 (27 C) on Sunday.
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