I haven't done a verification post for a while, and one reason is that the tracks I've been forecasting for have not had a reliable weather station located nearby. Fortunately, Indianapolis Motor Speedway is located just 5 miles away from Indianapolis International Airport (IND), so the conditions observed at the airport will usually be representative of what happens at the track, and the weather instruments there are reliable. For a little more information about why we post about our forecast verification and what the chart below means, read this post.
On a side note - if you follow this blog regularly, you'll know that Scott and I been questioning IndyCar's calls for fans to evacuate from "severe" weather - see these posts here and here and here. After the Grand Prix of Indianapolis, I am completely baffled by IndyCar's (or whoever's responsible) decision-making of when to issue the announcement to seek shelter. On Saturday around 2:30 pm, I was watching the radar with an overlay of lightning strikes, and lightning was approaching IMS. I posted on Twitter that lightning was occurring withing 10 miles of the track, and I was expecting the announcement to be made for fans to seek shelter at any moment. I was surprised to see a picture from the track of full grandstands just as the storm was about to hit. Fans at the track confirmed via Twitter that the announcement was never made. They also confirmed that there was lightning nearby (based on the lightning strike data I viewed, it was less than 5 miles away, and it was close enough for people at the track to hear thunder). Based on the timing of the announcements that were made at NOLA and Barber, which were made well in advance of the storms, I thought that certainly this was a situation that warranted a call to seek shelter from lightning. But it never happened.
It appears that IndyCar has no consistent policy about when the call to seek shelter should be made. As a fan, this gives me very little confidence in IndyCar's ability to accurately warn people at the track of possible threats. I think the lesson to be learned is this - take responsibility for yourself. Don't rely on announcements at the track to know when to seek shelter. Stay updated on the latest weather conditions, know what to do when threatening weather approaches, and take action well in advance of the approaching threat, whether an official announcement is made or not.
If I'm mistaken and IndyCar does have a policy of when fans should seek shelter, please leave a comment or contact me on Twitter and let me know what that policy is.