Sunday, 16 March 2014

2014 NASCAR at Bristol Motor Speedway

With rain moving in across Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, can NASCAR get the Sprint Cup race in or are the looking to race on Monday?
The weather forecast for the Sprint Cup Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway remains as wet as it has been all week. Storm system will spread rain across east Tennessee Sunday morning and keep the rain around for most of the day and even into the afternoon.
The above image is an animated forecast map from 8 a.m. EST Sunday until midnight on Monday. Rain arrives between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. EST and continues through the morning and into the afternoon. Some of the forecast models I've looked at try to break some of the rain up as we go into late afternoon and evening. While some of the showers are possible to become more broken and scattered, I feel there is just too much moisture in place today to see any racing at Bristol, that includes racing at night.
CAN WE RACE SUNDAY? My odds of seeing any racing on the track today at Bristol Motor Speedway continue to hover near 20 to 25 percent. While there are some forecast floating around out there that has the rain drying out late afternoon and into the evening, I just think there are too many things working against NASCAR racing today and even tonight.
It all comes down to if we see any breaks in the rain as we go into the afternoon and evening. If any of these potential windows are large enough for the Air Titan to dry the track and get the cars racing. If by some chance NASCAR manages to get a large window, will it be open long enough after drying to get an official race (making it to halfway or beyond). It feels like too many things have to go right for NASCAR to be able to race today at Bristol Motor Speedway.
BUT BRISTOL HAS LIGHTS, CAN WE RACE AT NIGHT? As I said above, even when I factor in the lights and how quick Air Titan can dry the track, I am just not feeling confident that we get a long enough window to race to halfway or beyond. That's if we see a window to begin with. Even if the steady rain ends in the afternoon and evening there is a good possibility that drizzle will set up in the valleys keeping everything wet for most of the evening and night.
YOU'RE A METEOROLOGIST, YOU CAN BE WRONG: This is very true, my forecast could be wrong. Many meteorologists, including myself, were wrong about the rain we had in Phoenix just two weeks ago. The difference between then and now is the kind of weather system we are going to see. In Phoenix, we had a cold front that was going to spark showers and storms near and around the track. We got lucky that most of the rain formed around the track but never hitting until the second half of the Nationwide race.
I've talked with other meteorologist like my NASCAR weather colleague on Twitter @RaceWeather and looked at the National Weather Service forecast and there is just too much agreement that rain is working against NASCAR racing today and tonight.
SHOULD I GO TO THE RACE SUNDAY OR MONDAY? I get this question a lot in situations like this and I honestly can't tell someone what they should do. A lot of fans will drive two to even four hours, if not more, to see the NASCAR race at Bristol. If it were me and I had a long drive, I'd monitor the weather and radar during the morning. Maybe even drive to a  halfway point and see what is going on. I'd wait to see if any decision is made earlier by either NASCAR or meteorologists forecasting the weather.
While I appreciate all those who support my NASCAR weather forecasting, I would tell anyone to also look at other forecasts from reliable sources. Get as much information you can and then make the best informed decision you can.
WHAT DOES MONDAY'S FORECAST LOOK LIKE? While Monday has the chance of rain and yes even some snow for Bristol Motor Speedway on Monday, most of this activity is expected in the morning. If NASCAR is forced to postpone the race to Monday then the scheduled start time for the Food City 500 is noon on Monday. Looking at the forecast the threat of rain decreases going into the afternoon and I feel that this would be the earliest time to get all of the race completed.
With wet weather expected today please follow me on Twitter @NASCAR_WXMAN and like me on Facebook for the latest weather updates.
Race Schedule: All Times Eastern
11 a.m EDT
Sprint Cup pre-race – Rain – temp: 43
12 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup pre-race – Rain – temp: 441 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup race – Rain – temp: 45
2 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup race – Rain – temp: 463 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup race – Rain – temp: 474 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup race – Rain – temp: 476 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup race – Cloudy, Scattered rain and drizzle – temp: 468 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup race – Cloudy, Scattered rain and drizzle – temp: 4410 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup race – Cloudy, Scattered rain and drizzle – temp: 42
12 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup race – Cloudy, chance of a shower – temp: 421 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup race – Cloudy, chance of a shower – temp: 43
2 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup race – Cloudy, chance of a shower – temp: 453 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup race – Cloudy to mostly cloudy – temp: 464 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup race – Cloudy to mostly cloudy – temp: 455 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup race – Cloudy to mostly cloudy – temp: 44

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