Warmer, But Storm Risk for NASCAR Races This Weekend

June 09, 2012; 3:33 PM
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Dark clouds move over the grandstands at Pocono Raceway on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2011, in Long Pond, Pa. Brad Keselowski won the rain-interrupted NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race earlier in the day. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

While temperatures will be warming up for NASCAR fans headed to Pocono this weekend, the threat exists for a few thunderstorms this weekend.

Temperatures will bounce back into the 80s this weekend in Long Pond, Pa., following highs in the 50s, 60s and low 70s this week.

The jet stream, which consists of high-powered, high-level winds in the atmosphere, will take a northward shift to allow warmth to surge in from the Central states.

Those people heading to race events either day of the weekend will have to shed their jackets and sweatshirts from the cool morning to reveal shorts and short sleeves for the warm afternoon.

Rainfall Concerns
Along with the warm-up, thunderstorms can form over the Poconos or drift in from upstate New York this weekend.

Indications are that a cluster of such storms is likely to drift through Saturday afternoon and could interrupt ARCA racing, scheduled during that time. It is not out of the question that a storm becomes strong, producing damaging winds and hail during the afternoon.

The same cluster of storms may roll through Elmont, N.Y. in the afternoon and evening Saturday. Elmont is home to Belmont Park. The Belmont Stakes scheduled for early Saturday evening is the final stage of thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown.

Even if the storms hold off until after the ARCA race at Pocono, thousands of folks hanging around or camping Saturday evening could get thoroughly drenched.

A phenomena, known by meteorologists as "outflow boundaries" created by the prior day's storms, could produce another pop-up shower during Sunday afternoon.

Delays due to shower activity are not uncommon at Pocono Raceway, which is nearly 2,000 feet above sea level.

Even with a risk of a couple of downpours, most of the time will be rain-free this weekend at the huge triangular track that has NASCAR's longest straightaway and some of the trickiest turns in the sport.

About 6.50 inches of rain has fallen at Long Pond, Pa., since May 15, nearly twice the normal amount.

Some portions of the parking lot may be muddy as a result.

Seepage during rainy weather patterns has been a problem in the past at Pocono.

The track boasts a new coat of blacktop for this season.

The length of both races (this weekend and in August) has been lowered from 500 miles to 400 miles.

Content contributed by AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Meghan Evans.

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