Showers to Stay Away for Running of 140th Kentucky Derby

By , AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist
May 3, 2014; 2:20 AM ET
Share |

After multiple days of wet weather at Churchill Downs, home to the Kentucky Derby, weather conditions will continue to dry out in time for the 140th annual event.

Through Tuesday of this week, the storm in its strong phase delivered about 2.50 inches of rain. Sloppy track conditions resulted from the heavy, persistent rainfall. The same storm system brought rounds of severe weather and tornadoes to the Central and Southern states.

RELATED:
Detailed Louisville, Ky., Forecast
Louisville, Ky., Interactive Weather Radar
Forecast Temperature Maps

While the old storm is forecast to linger in the Midwest through the weekend, showers are expected to stay to the north, resulting in a dry weekend.

Photo of the stables at Churchill Downs taken on May 3, 2013. (Flickr Photo/Diana Robinson)

Dry weather was the story for the 140th running of the Kentucky Oaks on Friday afternoon with highs topping out in the lower 60s.

This photo of the "trophies and the spires" taken on May 2, 2009. (Flickr Photo/got2dv8)

Enough dry air is forecast to mix in over Louisville, Kentucky, on Derby day to keep showers away. The weather could be near perfect for fans, jockeys and horses with sunny intervals and temperatures peaking in the middle 70s.

According to the National Weather Service in Louisville, out of the all the Derby days, 46 percent had rain at some point during the day.

The warmest Derby day was May 2, 1959, when the temperature climbed to 92 F.

The coolest Derby days were May 4 in 1935 and 1957, when the high was only 47 F.

On May 6, 1989, sleet fell for a few minutes in the afternoon.

The wettest Derby day was on May 11, 1918, when 2.31 inches of rain fell.

Just under 0.50 of an inch of rain during the six hours prior to last year's Derby resulted in sloppy track conditions with Orb pushing ahead of the field.

On May 5, 2012, the track was fast, despite nearly 1.50 inches of rain falling prior to the afternoon of the race. The track had time to drain off and dry out prior to the start of the Derby.

Since a long-lasting downpour is not expected on the day of the race, the track should be fairly fast for the 2014 Kentucky Derby.

Comments

Comments left here should adhere to the AccuWeather.com Community Guidelines. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Weather News

  • Hawaii Keeps Close Eye on Hurricane Ignacio

    August 28, 2015; 8:23 AM ET

    The tropics have been quite active around Hawaii as of late, and the pattern is not expected to change anytime soon with Hurricane Ignacio churning in the eastern Pacific.

Daily U.S. Extremes

past 24 hours

  Extreme Location
High N/A
Low N/A
Precip N/A

WeatherWhys®

This Day In Weather History

Colorado Springs, CO (1978)
Hail 6 inches deep.

Rochester, MN (1979)
2.73 inches of rain fell in 50 minutes making this the wettest August on record. (9.52 inches of rain so far this month). The heavy downpour flooded the streets of Rochester, stranding about 1,500 cars.

Midwest (1979)
A five-state tornado outbreak in Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming, Iowa and Missouri occurred on this date. In all, 20 tornadoes were reported. Nine were in Iowa. One near Farragut, IA, in the extreme SW corner of the state, caused several fatalities and numerous injuries.

Rough Weather