The risk of torrential downpours is in the offing for Churchill Downs as we move closer to the 138th Annual Kentucky Derby.
The Louisville area remained in a zone of midsummer warmth much of this week with high temperatures well into the 80s to near 90.
However, it appears drenching downpours and locally gusty thunderstorms are about to make their move with the potential for muddy conditions at race time.
The warmth and humidity have made the atmosphere ripe and capable of unleashing torrential downpours.
**During the middle of the afternoon, severe thunderstorms were approaching Louisville, prior to the start of the Kentucky Oaks.**
This is the current radar, centered on Louisville, Ky.
Around Louisville, the greatest risk of repeating downpours and locally gusty thunderstorms with hail and frequent lightning will come late today into Saturday midday as one or more disturbances roll in from the Plains along a southward sagging front.
While rainfall with summer weather showers and thunderstorms is often chaotic, there is the potential for 1 to 3 inches of rain at the local level during this period.
Essentially, if the Louisville gets under the "sweet spot" of the storms, it can be clobbered with flooding downpours.
According to the Louisville National Weather Service, it has rained on 63 of the 137 Derby Days (46 percent). The wettest day was May 11, 1918, when 2.31 inches of rain fell.
Indications are that the core of the rainfall will tend to shift to the south of the area during the afternoon and evening Saturday. However, there can still be stray storms and downpours left behind the main mess.
Because of the extent of the clouds, showers and thunderstorms around during the first part of the day Saturday and breaks of sun later in the afternoon, we expect temperatures to rebound into the middle 80s for the run for the roses.
The position of the front and the zone of showers and thunderstorms will be critical for timing the rain in the Louisville area and throughout the Ohio Valley. Keep checking in at AccuWeather.com for the latest forecast and radar.
This story was originally published at 10:00 a.m. CDT Thursday, May 3, 2012, and has been updated.
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Boston, MA (1999)
No measurable rain the entire month of June (normal is 3.09").
Tropical Rains caused flooding. The cloud bursts were generated by the combination of Tropical Cyclone 04B, which made landfall in the eastern state of Orissa the morning of the 29th. In Raipur, 16 inches poured down from evening of the 28th to the morning of the 30th. In Bombay, 10 inches of rain fell in just 9 hours on the 30th; total rainfall from the 28th to the 30th was just over 20 inches.
Flooding rainfall continued. Near Olpe, 4.78 fell in 24 hours, causing major flooding. Dexter was completely cut off by flooding, with roadways in and out of town unpassable. Near Williamsburg, 17.25 inches of rain fell over the past 3 days. As of the 30th, Welda's total rainfall for June was about 20 inches.