AdvoCare 500

2013 NASCAR at Atlanta Motor Speedway Radar and Weather Update

Showers and storms are moving towards Atlanta Motor Speedway this afternoon. Storms have history of frequent lightning, gusty winds and possible small hail. Few of these storms have the history of producing Severe Thunderstorms Warnings. I expect these storms to remain a threat over the next two and a half to three and a half hours. (2.5 to 3.5 hours).

If you are at the track please monitor local weather radio through your scanner the frequency is 162.550… I will continue to update as we go through the afternoon and evening. The radar below is live and refresh this page for the newest image. For updates on the radar and weather follow me on Twitter – @NASCAR_WXMAN and “Like” me on Facebook.


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ATLANTA RACE DAY WEATHER FORECAST

2012 NASCAR At Atlanta Motor Speedway: Race Day Weather Forecast

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FORECAST UPDATE SUNDAY 5:00 p.m. EDT (9/2/2012):

Scattered rain showers and a few thunderstorms could make people nervous tonight as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Atlanta Motor Speedway. I don’t expect this to be a washout and like we’ve seen all weekend with rain in the forecast most of the time has been dry and should remain that way through the race.

The radar all afternoon has been showing scattered to isolated showers and storms through out central and northern Georgia. Most of the activity this afternoon has not been a threat to the track but with all the tropical moisture in place can’t leave out the mention of a shower or storm potentially being a problem later this evening.

Do I think it’s going to be a wash? No, but a delay is possible and the likelihood of that is around 40%.

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What do I mean when I use the word “scattered?”

Imagine you have a bag of marbles and you dump the marbles on the floor. What do the marbles do, they scatter all over the floor. You can’t predict where the marbles will land all you know is they will stop at random points on the floor. That’s similar to the rain showers we can expect this weekend. Hard to know where a rain shower will form but if showers and storms start to form then the threat of a shower or storm hitting the track increases and the radar needs to be watched.

Please follow me on Twitter @NASCAR_WXMAN and like me on Facebook for the latest Weather updates through the week.

Atlanta Motor Speedway NASCAR Weather Update: Red Flag for Mist & Light Rain

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FORECAST DISCUSSION TUESDAY 1:45 PM EDT:
The AdvoCare 500 is under a red flag due to steady drizzle and light rain. The problem with a situation like this is the moisture is very close to the surface and very hard to see on radar as the beams usually either shoot above it or just have a hard time seeing it. That is why you hear a lot of the crew chiefs and ESPN say they don’t see it on radar.

As you can see in he image above (I am sorry it is not animating) there are lots of wide spread areas of this light drizzle and rain. It isn’t heavy but it is annoying. Sadly with out seeing it all it is hard to time and know how long it will last before it moves out. I still believe and trust that as the afternoon wears on there will be improvement. Dry air is trying to move in from the west but have seen very little in the way of forward movement over the last 10 hours. I think NASCAR can get this back and if they are willing to wait they should see drying later this afternoon and worst case the evening…

Please follow me on Twitter @NASCAR_WXMAN for the latest Weather updates during the race.

Atlanta Motor Speedway NASCAR Weather Forecast: We Race Today

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FORECAST DISCUSSION TUESDAY 3 AM EDT:
All signs point to us having a NASCAR race today. The remnants of tropical storm Lee and all that moisture continue to push north into the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys, as very dry and cool air begins to move in behind the departing system. From what I am seeing, I feel very strong that NASCAR has a very good shot of getting the AdvoCare 500 started and completed. If someone asked me, “What are the odds we get this race started on time Tuesday Morning?” I would tell them I think we have a better than 75% chance of getting the race started at 11 am EDT. This is not good news for all the fans who were praying for some morning rain so they could watch the race later in the afternoon or possibly in the evening.  Even Denny Hamlin (@DennyHamlin on Twitter) voiced his opinion about having a later start time for today’s race, “Anyone else wish @NASCAR would schedule the race for tues night?”

For those wanting to hold out hope for a delay and a later race start, there could be a few scattered to isolated showers around during the morning. Like we saw Sunday night it only takes one single shower to undo hours of drying. The trouble with predicting scattered to isolated showers is you never know when or where they will form. Overall I think the dry air wins out and we get this race started on time and finished.

WHAT IF THERE IS A DELAY?
In the small likelihood that we see a delay Tuesday morning the forecast for the afternoon and evening looks mostly dry. There could be a pop up shower or storm during that time too but the risk is very small. The other good news for track drying is that winds will be gusty and breezy out of the southwest. Sustained winds look to be between 10 and 20 mph with gust to near 25 mph.

I am very certain the AdvoCare 500 get in today, and I am becoming a believer that this race starts on time. If you are like many fans heading back to work or school, make sure you have your DVR’s set for ESPN tomorrow morning.

TUESDAY:
8 a.m EDT
Few scattered to isolated showers or storms, windy with gusts of 25 mph, mostly cloudy and cool: 68
11 a.m EDT
Start of Sprint Cup Race – Mostly cloudy, possible shower or storm, looks mainly dry still windy and cool. Southwest wind 10-20 mph gust of 25 – temp: 70
1 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup Race – Clouds, some sunshine few lingering scattered showers – temp: 73

Please follow me on Twitter @NASCAR_WXMAN for the latest Weather updates during the race.

day1otlk_1200

Atlanta Motor Speedway NASCAR Weather Forecast: We Try Again Tuesday

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Atlanta, GA

MON Sept 6 TUE Sept 7 WED Sept 8

Rain, heavy at times, some storms could produce gusty winds, or isolated tornado… Showers & storms likely morning, a few scattered storms possible afternoon. Windy. Mostly cloudy, isolated showers & storms
High: 80
High: 77
Low: 67
High: 75
Low: 57

FORECAST DISCUSSION MONDAY 4 AM EDT:
With a valiant effort, NASCAR did as they promised, tried to get the track ready so there could be racing for the thousands of fans Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway. After an hour and forty-five minutes later, it took just one small shower to erase all the work that had been done and NASCAR decided at about a quarter to ten to call the race and rescheduled the race for 11 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, NOT MONDAY.

WHY TUESDAY & NOT MONDAY?
Simply put, Lee, now a tropical depression, and the safety of fans. Monday into Tuesday the remnants of Lee will work through Mississippi, Alabama ending up joining the stalled cold front to the north on Tuesday evening in Tennessee. Lots of tropical moisture will surge north through Alabama and Georgia creating numerous showers and scattered thunderstorms.

Flash flood watches continue for northern Georgia including Atlanta Motor Speedway back into Alabama and Mississippi from now until Tuesday midday. Rain amounts by Tuesday midday could range from 3 to 5 inches for areas in the watch with some spots seeing 7 inches locally across northern Georgia. The other threat on Monday is some storms producing isolated tornadoes.

The Storm Prediction Center out of Norman Oklahoma has most of Georgia and Alabama under a slight risk of severe storms. The main threat being gusty winds and isolated tornadoes. Here is what the local National Weather Service office has to say about the tornado threat across central Georgia.

THE TORNADO THREAT ACROSS THE CWA REMAINS VERY REAL. ISOLD TORNADOESALREADY NOTED ACROSS AL EARLIER THIS EVENING WITH VERY WEAK…SEEMINGLY BENIGN APPEARING SHOWERS WITH NO LIGHTNING… …THE TORNADO THREAT WILL INCREASE ACROSS THE FFC CWA AND WILL NEED TO BE WATCHED VERY CAREFULLY. TROPICAL TORNADOES SPIN UP VERY QUICKLY AND THE PARENT CELLS OFTEN EXHIBIT LITTLE OR NO LIGHTNING.

NASCAR made the right decision and I applaud them for scheduling the race for Tuesday when the weather looks better.

SO HOW DOES THE WEATHER LOOK TUESDAY MORNING?
The images below are the model print out for Tuesday afternoon at 2 pm EDT (This was the closest information to 2pm EDT and also the driest)

This is a much better picture than I have been showing over the past few days. Yes there are areas of green across north central Georgia but the rain is on the way out and I think we WILL get the race in on Tuesday. Maybe not at 11 am (not feeling confident about the morning start) but once we get past midday and head into the afternoon and evening the threat of rain decreases and I feel good about seeing a Tuesday race.

MONDAY:
Numerous rain showers with isolated thunderstorms. Some storms could produce isolated tornadoes. Slight risk for severe weather across central and northern Georgia. .

TUESDAY:
Numerous showers and isolated storms during the morning, windy and cooler. Shower threat becomes less as moisture exits afternoon and evening. Winds could gust 20-30 mph and highs in the mid to upper 70s.

11 a.m EDT
Sprint Cup Race – Showers and isolated storms possible through the morning, windy – temp: 74

2 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup Race – Clouds, some sunshine few lingering scattered showers – temp: 78

Please follow me on Twitter @NASCAR_WXMAN for the latest Weather updates during the race.

ModelGFS AMS

Atlanta Motor Speedway Race Day Weather Forecast: Looks Like a Washout

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Atlanta, GA

SUN Night Sept 5 MON Sept 6 TUE Sept 7 WED Sept 8

Areas of showers and storms Rain, heavy at times, isolated storms Showers & storms likely morning, scattered in afternoon Mostly cloudy, isolated showers & storms
Race Temp: 76
High: 80
Low: 70

High: 78
Low: 67
High: 82
Low: 63

UPDATE 10:15 PM EDT:

After a valiant effort by NASCAR to try and dry Atlanta Motor Speedway, a rain shower moved in and negated an hour and 45 minutes worth of work. NASCAR decided it would take to long to dry and with the forecast for Monday looking very wet (See details below) they would postpone the race for Tuesday morning at 11 AM EDT. For full forecast read discussion below…

FORECAST DISCUSSION SUNDAY 5 PM EDT:

I saw reports on Twitter from Hendrick Motor sports (@TeamHendrick), “To beat remnants of Tropical Storm Lee, #NASCAR officials moved start time of tonight’s race @amsupdates up some 20 mins to 7:30pm ET.” Honestly I don’t think 20 mins will make that much of a difference. Rain has been off and on through the day and there is more rain moving in from the south and southwest. There may be a few windows of no rain or just drizzle but I am not confident that they will get the track dry and ready to start this race tonight. I hope I am wrong but it just doesn’t look like we will see a NASCAR race tonight.

Lots of green and even some blues showing up on the forecast models for 8pm EDT. More rain is likely behind this system and once we start getting the rain it is expected to keep raining through Monday into Tuesday morning thanks to Tropical Storm Lee.

Rain will be heavy at times from overnight Sunday into Monday. There are flash flood watches for northern Georgia including Atlanta Motor Speedway from midnight tonight until Tuesday morning. Rain amounts by Tuesday morning could range 3 to 5 inches for the area and locally some spots seeing 7 inches across northern Georgia. Another concern Monday is a risk for storms producing isolated tornadoes across central and northern Georgia, you can read more from the National Weather Service Hazardous Weather Outlook for the area. The next realistic opportunity to race would be Tuesday afternoon or Tuesday evening.

I know NASCAR will do everything in their power to get the race started, and like I said above, I HOPE I AM WRONG! As a meteorologist, I really don’t see a realistic scenario where NASCAR can get at least halfway through the race tonight to make it official.

SUNDAY NIGHT:
7:30 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup Race – Showers and storms likely continuing and increasing through the evening and overnight – temp: 76

MONDAY:
Cloudy with rain and isolated thunderstorms, rain will be at heavy a times. Rain amounts could be 1 to 2 inches.

TUESDAY:
Areas of showers and isolated storms, mainly Tuesday morning, could see some clearing and drying late in the day and into Tuesday evening. Highs 75 to near 80.

Please follow me on Twitter @NASCAR_WXMAN for the latest Weather updates during the race.

ATLModel1

Atlanta Motor Speedway Race Day Weather Forecast: Forecast Remains the Same, Wet

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Atlanta, GA

SUN Afternoon Sept 5 SUN Night Sept 5 MON Sept 6 TUE Sept 7 WED Sept 8

Mostly cloudy, chance of showers/storms afternoon. Showers & storms more likely mid evening & late night Rain, heavy at times, isolated storms Windy with rain, isolated storms Becoming partly sunny drying out.
High: 80
Race Temp: 76
High: 80
Low: 70

High: 78
Low: 71
High: 77
Low: 61

FORECAST DISCUSSION SUNDAY 1 PM EDT:

My thinking on the forecast tonight remains the same. People ask me on twitter, “What’s the likelihood we get the NASCAR race in Sunday Night?” Optimistically, I think we have a 20 to 30 percent chance of getting this race started and to half way, based on some of the data I am seeing. As of midday, rain was falling at Atlanta Motor Speedway and more rain was moving in from the southwest.

Rain is expected to increase as the afternoon wears on and we head into the evening. Here are the latest model images for 8pm EDT.

In the last image you see more dry areas than wet, with the bulk of the rain west into Alabama, but it does have the rain over the track. This is where I am getting my 20 to 30 percent chance of getting the race started and to halfway.

I can not speak for NASCAR and I don’t know how they will handle Sunday’s race if it gets rained out. More than likely they would do what they have in the past a reschedule it for sometime Monday. Unfortunately the forecast for Monday is not much better with more rain likely. Rain will be heavy at times from overnight Sunday into Monday. There are flash flood watches for northern Georgia including Atlanta Motor Speedway from midnight tonight until Tuesday morning. Rain amounts by Tuesday morning could range 3 to 5 inches for the area and locally some spots seeing 7 inches. Another concern for Monday is a risk for storms producing isolated tornadoes across central and northern Georgia, you can read more from the National Weather Service Hazardous Weather Outlook for the area.

A concern would be how will Atlanta Motor Speedway handle so much rain over the next 24 to 36 hours. Rain will continue into Tuesday morning before drying out as Lee moves off to the north and northeast. It could be possible to get a race in on Tuesday afternoon and evening looking at the current forecast.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON:
Cloudy with off and on light rain showers, temperatures 75 to 80.

SUNDAY RACE FORECAST:
7:30 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup Race – Showers and storms likely continuing and increasing through the evening and overnight – temp: 76

MONDAY:
Cloudy with rain and isolated thunderstorms, rain will be at heavy a times. Rain amounts could be 1 to 2 inches.

TUESDAY:
Areas of showers and isolated storms, mainly Tuesday morning, could see some clearing and drying late in the day and into Tuesday evening. Highs 75 to near 80.

Please follow me on Twitter @NASCAR_WXMAN for the latest Weather updates during the race.

Model1_Atlanta

Atlanta Motor Speedway Race Day Weather Forecast: Ollie Williams, “It Gon Rain”

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Atlanta, GA

SUN Sept 5 SUN Sept 5 MON Sept 6 TUE Sept 7 WED Sept 8

Mostly cloudy, chance of showers/storms afternoon. Showers & storms more likely mid evening & late night Rain, heavy at times, isolated storms Windy with rain, isolated storms Becoming partly sunny drying out.
High: 80
Race Temp: 76
High: 80
Low: 70

High: 78
Low: 71
High: 77
Low: 61

FORECAST DISCUSSION SUNDAY 4AM EDT:

There has been little change in the overall forecast for Sunday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The two players that will impact the weather are tropical storm Lee (at least the moisture associated with it) and an approaching cold front from the north. A band of rain will break off off Lee during the day Sunday we could see some showers Sunday morning with more rain arriving Sunday afternoon and evening. The images below are model print outs for 8 p.m. EDT

I tweeted Saturday night that optimistically I think we have a 25% chance of getting this race in Sunday night. It isn’t out of the question that there could be breaks in the rain and possible windows. We really won’t know the exact scenario until there is actual rain on the radar moving towards north central Georgia.

If we don’t get this race in Sunday night we may be looking at the possibility of a Wednesday race because tropical storm Lee (or what’s left of the storm) is expected to move through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee Monday and Tuesday bringing heavy rains (3 to 5 inches) and some winds to the Atlanta metro the next two days. If we race Wednesday then no one is going to the White House.

SUNDAY:
Mostly cloudy with scattered showers and isolated storms into the afternoon. Not as hot as highs are near 80. Showers become more likely into the evening and after 8pm

SUNDAY RACE FORECAST:
7:30 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup Race – Showers and storms becoming likely through the evening– temp: 76

Please follow me on Twitter @NASCAR_WXMAN for the latest Weather updates during the race.

Model1_Atlanta

Atlanta Motor Speedway Weather Forecast: New Data and It Isn’t What We Want to See

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Atlanta, GA

SAT Sept 4 SUN Sept 5 SUN Sept 5

Sunshine & clouds Variably cloudy, chc. of showers and storms late in the day. Showers and storms possible
High: 92
High: 87
Low: 65
Race Temp: 88

FORECAST DISCUSSION SATURDAY NOON EDT:

New forecast model data is in and it doesn’t look good. Here is the information I am looking at for 8pm EDT Sunday evening. Atlanta Motor Speedway is Click for bigger image.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words and the two above images scream a bunch of words not appropriate for this blog. The time is for 8pm EDT and as you can see south of Atlanta there is a lot of color. That means the models are coming together more and showing a scenario that NASCAR fans don’t want to see.

I don’t want a wash out and I wish I had better news to share. This is not looking good and if the race were to get washed out and moved to Monday, the forecast then doesn’t look much better. I will continue to keep you updated.

SATURDAY:
1:30 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup Final Practice – Partly sunny – temp: 88
3:30 p.m EDT
Nationwide Qualifying – Partly sunny – temp: 91
5:00 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup Qualifying – Partly sunny – temp: 92
7:30 p.m EDT
Nationwide Race – Patchy clouds – temp: 85

SUNDAY:
7:30 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup Race – Showers and storms becoming likely through the evening– temp: 83

Please follow me on Twitter @NASCAR_WXMAN for the latest Weather updates during the race.

Atlanta Motor Speedway Weather Forecast: I Hate Forecasts Like These

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Atlanta, GA

SAT Sept 4 SUN Sept 5 SUN Sept 5

Sunshine & clouds Variably cloudy, chc. of showers and storms late in the day. Showers and storms possible
High: 92
High: 87
Low: 65
Race Temp: 88

FORECAST DISCUSSION SATURDAY 6:00 AM EDT:

Weather for Atlanta over the next 24 to 36 hours actually looks pretty good. Saturday looks great as high pressure remains in control despite having tropical storm Lee along the central Gulf Coast. Highs on Saturday should be in the low 90s with mostly to partly sunny skies.

Sunday is the day of great concern and a lot of questions. Moisture associated with tropical storm Lee will interact with a cold front moving into northern Georgia late in the day Sunday and into the evening. This sets the stage for possible shower and storm development. Although my official forecast is calling for shower and storm development, this isn’t a scenario like Watkins Glen where I felt like there was a slam dunk of rain for the race. There are a couple of forecast models that remain slow on bringing the rain to Atlanta Motor Speedway, but still bring the rain late Sunday night.

It’s these forecast I have to separate the NASCAR fan from the meteorologist. I would love nothing else than to say, “The rain is not a worry, we are going to have great weather for the race.” Sadly I would be “wish-casting” and lying to all the other NASCAR fans if I wrote that forecast. I know forecasting rain doesn’t make me a very popular person but I don’t do this to be popular. I do this because I love weather, I love the sport of NASCAR and I want to tell everyone how I see it and give the most accurate forecast I can. Trust me, when I have to forecast rain for a race, I hope I am wrong.

My official forecast for Sunday is that rain is too close not to be a threat Sunday night. Rain needs to be mentioned and I think the likelihood of getting rain for the Sprint Cup race is higher than any of us would like.  I wish I could pinpoint rain arrival to the hour and tell you how long it would last and how long any possible windows will be, unfortunately this is not that kind of forecast, and honestly most forecast are not that precise.  I also can’t tell any fan what they should do if they have tickets or are thinking about getting tickets for the race. If it were me I’d probably go, take the risk with some of the information I am seeing from some of the computer models. I would also know that I am making a gamble and that if it rained Sunday night delaying, shortening or postponing the race all together, I wouldn’t be surprised because it is there in the forecast.

My plan is to update as often as I can between now and Sunday night. We probably won’t know exactly what the rain will be doing until sometime Sunday afternoon. Stay tuned and I will update as often as I can here and on Twitter. Have a great Labor Day weekend everyone.

SATURDAY:
8:30 a.m EDT
Nationwide Practice – Partly sunny – temp: 72
9:45 a.m EDT
Nationwide Final Practice – Partly sunny – temp: 76
1:30 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup Final Practice – Partly sunny – temp: 88
3:30 p.m EDT
Nationwide Qualifying – Partly sunny – temp: 91
5:00 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup Qualifying – Partly sunny – temp: 92
7:30 p.m EDT
Nationwide Race – Patchy clouds – temp: 85

SUNDAY:
7:30 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup Race – Showers and storms becoming likely through the evening– temp: 83

Please follow me on Twitter @NASCAR_WXMAN for the latest Weather updates during the race.

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