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April 28, 2011

Kentucky Derby Festival / Oaks / Derby Forecast Discussion

One of the great outdoor times of the year for Kentuckiana is the Kentucky Derby Festival events and the races on Oaks/Derby. With all the major severe weather possiblities behind us for now, it is finally time to focus our attention on the coming 10 days worth of events.

 

Specific Event Forecasts For The Next 7 Days

  

To kick off the discussion, let's take a look at the 7-Day so you can pick out the days that are important for your events.

 

7DayWeb_wsi 

 

One of the big kick off events for the Kentucky Derby Festival is the US Bank Bank Great Balloon Glimmer in Waterfront Park and the kick off the Chow Wagon at 11 am today. We will have to watch out for a late evening / early overnight shower or thunderstorm and breezy conditions for this time period.

 

KDF 1 

 

Friday morning is the US Bank Great Balloon Rush Hour Race. It is always fun to watch the balloons fill the sky for those heading into work in the morning. A couple of years ago I helped with this event and I can tell you the winds are really important for this event. Surface winds will die down to around 5 - 10 mph by the morning but the winds they will fly at will be out of the west-northwest so the balloons should fly down Taylorsville road area.

 

KDF 2 

 

Sticking with the popular balloons, we move to the US Bank Great Balloon Glow Friday night. This tends to be packed and the weather looks stellar!

 

KDF 3 

 

Saturday is the marathon/mini, so weather plays a big role, plus opening night at Churchill Downs! The morning will be cool on Saturday, but that is good for the runners. Opening night at Churchill Downs looks fantastic. What a way to kick off the Spring Meet!

 

KDF 4 

 

 

 

Derby Week Highlights

 

Moving into next week, we will a storm from Sunday and exiting the area Monday. The early part of the week looks very nice with some chilly mornings. We will be live from the Backside of Churchill Downs if you do get a chance to wake up with us. The rain chances do start to increase on Thursday which could affect the Pegasus Parade. The GFS has been rather consistent from run to run showing rain late Thursday lending confidence to the longer range. The good news is this does not remotely look severe.

 

Gfs_1 

 

If indeed this scenario plays out as it does look like the most likely scenario, then we would likely end up with very nice Kentucky Oaks 137 and Kentucky Derby 137 weather. Oaks would be in the mid 60s and Derby would be in the lower 70s. Please understand this is still nearly 10 days out and the details are not solid yet, but I figured it was worth a mention. :)

Comments

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This isn't related to your Oaks / Derby post but I wanted to give you a big thumbs up for nailing down the severe threat on Wednesday for our immediate area. The SPC may have caused some unfounded panic by continuing to revise their outlook closer and closer to the Louisville area. They had it right the first time; such as yourself!

Marc,
I heard you mention on Tuesday about the possibility of our area dodging what happened in Miss, Ala, and Geo if the moisture flow was blocked. If the the Deep South had not gotten those storms could their fate been ours on Wed?
Thank you again for everything you did and the extremely long hours you have worked the past 8+ days to keep everyone informed. You should be asking for a raise, better still your bosses should be offering the raise without your asking.

Matt H, thank you for the very generous comment. I felt the moderate risk was a really bad choice and expressed that concern when the made the upgrade. It is frustrating since I do not issue those watches and I know they can cause panic. I just appreciate those that trusted my thoughts.

Steve, I needed to be here for our community, so the tired part didn't really settle in until the weather got more quiet. It has been overwhelming how many positive comments we have received. I can't begin to say how much that means to me. :)

Our fate on April 27th would indeed have been altered if the tornadoes did not hit Alabama. I think that would have shifted north to southeast Kentucky and TN, but there was many things that Louisville had to overcome that day. Remember, the what if's will always be asked but the events unfolded as climatology normally indicated it would for that event.

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