THURSDAY PM UPDATE: Race weekend weather looks less than ideal


Leading up to race weekend, we've been closely keeping an eye on the weather trends. Since last weekend, we knew that things would be unsettled, wet or active. The closer we get, naturally, the better idea we have of what will happen. Regardless, News 5's Maggie Smolka did find out from fans that the weather doesn't slow them down.

Here's what we're tracking, in the meantime.

A front is moving closer to the area Thursday night and Friday. With it hanging around the region, we stand the chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms during the Bush's Beans Pole Day. One or two storms, area-wide, could be on the strong side. Main impacts would be heavy rain, lightning and gusty winds. We also can't rule out some small hail.

By Saturday and Sunday, a stronger system moving in from the Plains will encounter some Gulf of Mexico moisture. This gives us the chance of fairly widespread rain, with the best chance for that being Saturday night through mid-day Sunday. Scattered showers will linger around during the day Sunday, and we're hoping that those miss the track!

Both Saturday and Sunday, the threat for severe weather is pretty low. However, there may be some periods of heavy rain. Again, the best chance of that being widespread looks to be late Saturday through mid-day Sunday.

Some minor flooding may be an issue for the many creeks near BMS, though. This is something that we will keep you alert to, should that occur.

Widespread flash flooding doesn't look to be a factor though. Here's why.

Looking at three forecast models' interpretations of the weather Friday-Sunday, they all seem to agree that we'll get an inch or more of rain. The better chance for higher rain totals looks to be in southwest Virginia, at this time.

So let's say that we get anywhere from 1-3" of rain over that three day span. We would need 4-5" of rain in a 24 hour span for widespread flash flooding to occur.

The bottom line is this: 1) Yes, there will be rain in the area this weekend. 2) No, it likely will not rain the entire time from Friday through Sunday. 3) Don't cancel your plans, but be prepared. Have a way to get information and/or necessary rain gear if you're heading to the races. 4) Keep in touch with us. There's still a little bit of wiggle room in the forecast, and we will let you know if anything changes.

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