Torrential Rain Douses Pimlico Race Course Ahead of Preakness

By , Senior Meteorologist
May 16, 2014; 11:10 PM ET
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Heavy rain unloaded on northern Maryland and Pimlico Race Course late this week but has departed ahead of the 2014 Preakness Stakes.

The steadiest and heaviest rain fell on the track during Friday morning into the midday. As of 11:00 a.m. EDT Friday, between 1.50 and 2.00 inches of rain has fallen since midnight Friday in the vicinity of the track at Pimlico.

A few hours are needed for the track to dry thoroughly after a heavy rain, according to officials of the Maryland Jockey Club.

Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome, with exercise rider Willie Delgado aboard, gallops at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Wednesday, May 14, 2014. The Preakness Stakes horse race is scheduled to take place on Saturday. (AP Photo)

Friday is Black-Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico. Post time for the filly race is 4:47 p.m. EDT. Rain free weather is forecast for the afternoon hours through the stakes race late in the day. Whether or not the track has a chance to dry thoroughly following the heavy rainfall from earlier in the day is uncertain.

Temperatures are forecast to rebound into the 60s F Friday afternoon.

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Officials of the Maryland Jockey Club said the dirt track at Pimlico dries fast and runs well in mud.

The period from Friday afternoon through the middle of Saturday afternoon is likely to be rain-free.

On Saturday, there is the chance of very spotty showers late in the day and during the evening. However, much of the day will bring some sunshine and good drying conditions.

If showers stay away late Saturday, the track is likely to be fast. Post time for Saturday's Preakness is 6:18 p.m. EDT, with temperatures close to 70 F.

According to Northeast Weather Expert Dave Dombek, "During Saturday late afternoon and evening, spotty showers and thunderstorms are likely to pop up over northern Maryland and Virginia as a puddle of chilly air moves in high in the atmosphere."

The development and exact track of small-scale showers are challenging to predict.

"Much of the time will be free of rain Saturday evening, but there is just that remote chance one of those pop-up showers will wander through," Dombek said.

Despite the good drying conditions into Saturday afternoon, a downpour just prior to start of the Preakness during the evening might give the mudders an edge.


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