The 2018 racing season unofficially begins next weekend with the Roar Before the 24 at Daytona. Over the past few days, the models have been showing a pretty consistent pattern across Florida late this week - one that will produce dry but chilly weather for the Roar. With good model agreement on the pattern and good model consistency from run to run, my confidence in this forecast in this forecast is fairly high.
During the middle of the week, a cold front will move through Florida, and a large area of high pressure will build into the Southeast states. This high will have origins in central Canada, so the air that it brings with it will be very cold. As a result, temperatures for Friday at Daytona will be well below normal, by about 15-20 degrees. The normal high temperature for Daytona this time of year is 70 degrees, and the normal low is 47. Temperatures will be in the 30s when teams hit the track on Friday morning, and highs will only reach the lower 50s. A northwest wind around 10 mph will make it feel a little colder. But at least it will be sunny.
Saturday will continue to have sunny skies with temperatures getting a little warmer, with highs reaching the upper 50s.
On Sunday, the high pressure area will move off the coast of North Carolina and Virginia, which will produce a more easterly flow across Florida. This will help warm temperatures up into the 60s, and maybe bring more cloud cover. The models are hinting at some rain off the east coast of Florida on Sunday, but I'm not too concerned about it affecting Daytona. I think it will stay well offshore, if it happens at all.
Thanks to Joseph Bierschbach (@usdk1) for allowing the use of his photo for the forecast graphic this week. You can check out his work at redcasephotography.com. We'll be using his photos quite a bit this year.