April 23, 2017 #TriCitiesWx Race Week Forecast V

Rain, rain, and more rain. We’re close to a nearly 50 year old record for the most recorded rain in history for April 23. That’s awful timing with NASCAR in town, but they’ll try it again tomorrow and should have more luck! Welcome to the Tri-Cities Weather Blog forecast for this week!

First of all, there’s a flood warning for most of us through early tomorrow morning. We’re all also under a flood watch until 2pm tomorrow. In fact, the NWS just continued a flood warning for the North Fork of the Holston River (near Gate City) until 10:30 tomorrow. With all the rain we’re getting, that should be no surprise. Be VERY careful if you encounter flooding tonight and tomorrow!

Normally, I do this Sunday forecast outlook-only with a short explainer. This won’t be the case today with the flooding issues and the race happening tomorrow. I always do start out with the quick forecast, and here that is:

  • Tonight-Rain is likely, flooding possible in spots. Low 48.
  • Monday-A few morning rain showers during a cloudy day. High 65.
  • Monday night-Partly to mostly cloudy, a few mountain rain showers. Low 50.
  • Tuesday-Partly sunny, except more clouds/sprinkles in the mountains. High 74.
  • Wednesday-Mostly sunny. High 82.
  • Thursday-Increasing clouds, showers and storms possible late. High 81.
  • Friday-Partly cloudy, a few rain showers early. Highs near 80.

It appears that the rainfall record for today has in fact fallen. In 1968 there was 1.32″ of rain, which is the most rain in recorded history for the Tri-Cities Airport. We’re at 1.52″ now, so I’m sure the record breaker alerts will be issued once we hit midnight.

That said, low pressure is in Georgia right now, and it will head toward the South Carolina coast tomorrow and then proceed up the coast away from us. As it does that, our chances of rain will drop considerably. Heavy rain is possible for sure tonight, and perhaps early tomorrow. From there, rain gets more scattered and eventually will go away.

That being said, in the North Carolina mountains another round of rain will move through as the Low moves up the coast. That could bring a little more rain there, potentially into early Tuesday.

As far as NASCAR is concerned, they’re going to get the race in tomorrow. Sure, there might be delays, but the speedway has lights, so they’ll run it in prime time if they have to. The forecast looks better and better as the day goes on, but a few more rain showers aren’t out of the question.

After that, we’ll see sunshine here in the Tri-Cities for most of a couple days, possibly into a third. Once that low is gone, our next chances of rain don’t arrive until late on Thursday. As it looks right now, rain with this system is most likely Thursday night.

If you’re still in town for the race, thanks for staying! You might have to battle a little rain tomorrow, but I’m fairly certain they’ll get at least half of the 500 laps in tomorrow, and honestly the whole thing should get in unless NASCAR gets tired of trying. They hit that point very early today, but it won’t be that way tomorrow so they can get the tour to the next stop.

Thanks for looking here for the forecast, have a great Monday!

April 21, 2017 #TriCitiesWx Race Week Forecast IV

The fourth forecast for race week and the weekend is about the same as the previous ones. Rain is likely for much of the weekend, and it may stretch NASCAR action to Monday. Welcome to the Tri-Cities Weather Blog forecast through Tuesday!

Yes, I know that’s a gloomy outlook, but several entities are printing out 3 inches of rain and up to 4 inches for parts of the Tri-Cities area through Tuesday. Granted, all many of us will focus on weather-wise is the race track, and that’s fine. There are baseball games to be played, and I’m sure the Tribe Classic has had some issues already.

Here’s the outlook for the weekend and early next week:

  • Tonight-Scattered showers likely, with possible thunderstorms. Low 58.
  • Saturday-Mostly cloudy, with scattered showers and thunderstorms. High 73.
  • Saturday night-Rain likely with thunderstorms. Low 55.
  • Sunday-Cloudy with rain and thunderstorms. High 64.
  • Monday-A few morning showers, then becoming mostly sunny. High 72.
  • Tuesday-Mostly sunny. High 75.

What we’ve seen today so far is a lot like we’ll see the weather all weekend long. Look for periods of rain showers with occasional thunderstorms tonight through Sunday. Rain could be heavy at times, but the worst of the really heavy rain looks to be Saturday night and early Sunday before any racing is scheduled to begin.

Be prepared for anything this weekend. Strong to severe storms are possible, and gusty winds will cause damage to tents and things of that nature around the track. There could be small hail involved, too. The main thing I’m concerned about is flooding. The track is right next to Beaver Creek, and if there’s enough rain it could spill over its banks and cause issues for anyone camping or selling things out that way, especially along Volunteer Parkway.

Yesterday I said that it was most likely that the Saturday race would stand a chance of getting moved to Monday. I’m not so sure the race on Sunday gets in at this point. The good news, though, is that with lights they can pretty much wait it out for a lot longer than at tracks without lights. Hopefully I’m wrong, but it still looks to me that at least one of the three races this weekend won’t be run on its allotted day, or at least will be run at night.

Normally on Friday, I’ll include Monday and Tuesday in the forecast because I usually go out four to five days. This time, Monday is helpful because there may be racing on Monday. Typically, when any race is moved, it starts at 11am the following day, or the next possible day. If that happens to any of the three races, they may have trouble getting started that early, but the racing will get in throughout the afternoon. There is almost zero chance this lasts all the way to Tuesday.

I mentioned baseball, the Tribe Classic that is scheduled to finish tomorrow. It appears all the games were played yesterday, but games are starting to get postponed, slowly but surely. I know Sullivan South vs. Gate City won’t be played tomorrow at Hunter Wright Stadium, but I’m not sure about much else at this point. I can imagine that the only place where they’ll play tomorrow is at J-Fred Johnson Stadium in Kingsport where they have artificial turf and the water runs off nicely.

There’s the report for today. Since official racing starts tomorrow, I’ll bring updates on Twitter as frequently as needed throughout the weekend. Check the right side of the blog for that link. I’ll also try to give a weather blog update sometime early tomorrow with regard to the weather situation specific for Saturday.

April 20, 2017 #TriCitiesWx Race Week Forecast III

When you’re holding an outdoor event, rain is not a good thing. When it’s a baseball tournament, that’s really bad. When a national touring auto racing series stops by, it’s VERY bad. That’s unfortunately what we’ve got ahead of us the next few days, but it won’t rain all day all three days, either.

Welcome race fans to the Tri-Cities Weather Blog! If you’re from out of town, bookmark this site and every time you come to Bristol, you’ll have the latest Bristol forecast. If you’re from around here, then you already need to check back every day, right? Right!

All that said, let’s get to the outlook, where rain is plentiful:

  • Tonight-Partly to mostly cloudy, with a few scattered showers. Low 58.
  • Friday-Cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms. High 78.
  • Friday night-Rain likely, with possible thunderstorms. Low 57.
  • Saturday-Partly to mostly cloudy, with scattered showers and storms. High 74.
  • Sunday-Cloudy with scattered showers and storms. High 68.
  • Monday-Partly to mostly sunny. High 72.

Let’s unpack one thing first, the meaning of “scattered.” I start with what it does NOT mean, and that’s “all day.” We’re not going to see rain all day long any day of the next three. There will be gaps in the rain, and when they are will determine when we can dry the track and when racing can happen.

As for baseball, that’s a different matter altogether, and it depends completely on the field on which the games will be played. Some of those games might be postponed early, so make sure you’re in the know with the correct contact person if games are postponed or (more likely) cancelled altogether.

That said, Friday night into Saturday morning and Saturday night into Sunday morning present the best chances for widespread rain. The Weather Prediction Center (a NOAA organization) shows a possibility of 3 inches of rain or more around here through Sunday. But if most of that happens at night, life won’t be so bad at the track or at baseball games.

Daytime hours over the next three days will alternate between rain and dry, rain and dry conditions for sure. Batches of rain will come in, and then they will leave, just as simply as that.

As for racing chances, I think most of Sunday’s race gets in. They can run at night, so that will make things easier as Sunday should get more dry as time wears on. Saturday’s races, though, might end up getting moved to Monday. That’s the most likely day of the three to see enough rain to keep cars off the track for longer amounts of time.

The baseball games I’m referring to are part of the Tribe Classic, played Kingsport, Gray, Bristol, and Johnson City. Games played at J-Fred Johnson Stadium are likely to get played as soon as the rain stops thanks to artificial turf. Hunter Wright is a natural grass stadium, so is Tod Houston Field in Bristol, so rain there may cause issues. As for Daniel Boone and Cardinal Park, I’m not sure how rain will change the schedule. Be aware through your team’s officials and staff as to what games get played and what do not on Friday and Saturday.

Those of us who like rain will enjoy this, but be aware that if we do get 3 inches of rain in the next three days, flooding might be a threat, specifically in low lying areas all across the area. That includes Beaver Creek, which is right next to the race track. Keep that in mind if you’re camping out there or just going to have a look at the shops during some down time.

It’s not as gloomy of a forecast as it looks, but timing is a big challenge. I’ll have more on the forecast pretty early tomorrow afternoon in advance of the weekend, with a special forecast coming on Saturday.

April 19, 2017 #TriCitiesWx Race Week Forecast

The closer we get to the big events this weekend at the race track, the worse the weekend is starting to look. Complete washouts aren’t likely, but rain delays will be a thing all weekend. Welcome to the Tri-Cities Weather Blog forecast through Sunday!

Straight to the outlook we go, as sunshine and a few scattered storms are the order of this Wednesday afternoon:

  • Tonight-Partly cloudy, scattered showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Low 55.
  • Thursday-Partly cloudy, a few pop-up storms possible late. Highs near 80.
  • Thursday night-Partly to mostly cloudy with a few rain showers. Low 58.
  • Friday-Cloudy with scattered showers and thunderstorms. High 77.
  • Saturday-Partly cloudy with scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms. High 75.
  • Sunday-Cloudy with rain and thunderstorms, mainly early. Highs near 70.

As you can see, a lot of rain is forecast. In fact, I peeked at the Weather Prediction Center’s forecast through the weekend, and they’re plotting over 3 inches of rain between now and Sunday not far from here. So life will be interesting for sure with NASCAR and baseball tournaments to be happening starting tomorrow.

Thursday should be mostly  dry until some pop-up storms start firing up in the afternoon, a lot like summer. A few rain showers are possible tomorrow night as well.

Then on Friday, a cold front will approach, passing through our area during the evening. That will bring a good supply of rain to us, which will cause some problems with practice and qualifying at the track and the Tribe Classic baseball tournament as well.

Saturday looks to start off dry, but showers and storms resume late as low pressure moves toward Knoxville. If any race has to get moved to Monday, it’s the two that happen on Saturday. We could see a lot of rain on the first day of the weekend.

By far, though, the best chances of heavy rain will be Saturday night and Sunday morning. As it appears right now, toward noon we might see weather start to clear up, which would be perfect timing for the race. That doesn’t mean I’m saying it’s all clear, as rain will be possible at any time of the day on Sunday. But there is a little good news.

If anything does get pushed to Monday, we’ll see dry weather for sure then and at least through the first half of next week. So the delay won’t be longer than a day, that’s for sure.

I’ll have another update on all of this tomorrow, make sure you have rain gear ready if you’re planning on being at the track for any activities starting Friday!

April 18, 2017 #TriCitiesWx Race Week Forecast I

Typically in the summer, I’m talking about the same thing over and over and over, the “broken record” forecast. With constant disturbances moving through in the coming days, we’ll have the same thing here in the midst of Spring. Welcome to the Tri-Cities Weather Blog forecast for tonight through the weekend!

It’s NASCAR week for Bristol, and the forecast does not look good at all. I will say that it won’t rain all day any day in the next five, but scattered showers and possible storms will put a big dent in the plans for racing at BMS this week and high school baseball, too, which is in its stretch run toward the playoffs. Here’s the outlook:

  • Tonight-Clouds and scattered showers, with patchy fog. Low 57.
  • Wednesday-Mostly cloudy, scattered showers and maybe a thunderstorm. High 72.
  • Wednesday night-Mostly cloudy with a few rain showers. Low 55.
  • Thursday-Partly cloudy and dry early, with rain and storms possible in the afternoon. High 78.
  • Friday-Cloudy with scattered showers and storms. High 74.
  • Saturday-Mostly cloudy with off-and-on showers and storms. High 75.
  • Sunday-Mostly cloudy with scattered showers and storms. Highs near 70.

Cold fronts move through here Friday and Sunday, which of course is not good timing at all for race fans. Those will be the days where rain will have a chance of being more heavy and more frequent. Outside of that, we’ll have days a lot like today. Mostly clouds, with batches of rain here and there.

Sometimes inside those batches of rain we’ll get an embedded thunderstorm, so be aware of that. Last night at the Sullivan South baseball game, we sat out a 25 minute rain delay due to lightning late in the game. If baseball gets played in our area, there is a chance for that as well pretty much with any batch of rain that moves through.

It’s a little early to ask about whether races get in this weekend or not, but I figure the chances are about 6 in 10 that rain will slow things down at least once on Saturday, and 8 in 10 on Sunday. However, there’s a good chance we might get a long cloudy dry spell, too, and it doesn’t get long to get to halfway at Bristol these days. So we’ll see.

I’ll continue to have updates each day this week as the weekend gets here. For those of you interested in the high school baseball games, keep it here as well. It might be interesting getting those games in through the weekend as well, with a big tournament, the Tribe Classic, coming up around the area starting Thursday.