123rd Boston Marathon weather: Runners to escape cold headwinds not rain, thunderstorms

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
April 15, 2019, 7:23:22 AM EDT

While the weather will not be as dismal as what runners faced in 2018, unsettled conditions will still provide less-than-ideal conditions for the 123rd Boston Marathon on Monday.

The dry weather that dominated the Boston area on Sunday is not expected to last into Patriots' Day.

The same storm that unleashed a severe weather outbreak across the South will cause a band of rain and a thunderstorm to sweep through Boston just prior to the start of the race on Monday morning.

The rain can fall heavy at times, and there can be a period of stronger winds that may rip away any banners that are not fully secured. Runners and spectators setting up before the race may have to find shelter for a time if a thunderstorm accompanies the rain.

Hundreds of thousands of spectators are set to cheer on the 30,000 runners of the 123rd Boston Marathon.

Boston Marathon April 13

Runners approach the finish line in the rain during the Boston Marathon, on Monday, April 20, 2015, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

The first set of runners will start the course at 9:02 a.m. EDT in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, with the last wave scheduled for 11:15 a.m. Runners will race toward the finish line in downtown Boston.

"The rain from the early morning could be heavy enough to cause ponding of water on the course, like what occurred in 2018," AccuWeather Meteorologist Renee Duff stated.

Due to weather conditions, race officials announced Monday morning that the initial wave of runners would shelter in a nearby high school while later groups would shelter in buses at Boston Common.

Runners will want to wear waterproof gear and be cautious of slick spots.

"The water on painted surfaces, such as pedestrian and motor vehicle lines, can make for slippery conditions for the runners," according to Duff.

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A couple of showers will follow during the rest of the day, and another thunderstorm may return lightning hazards in the afternoon.

However, there can be a period during the midday hours when the Boston area will be fairly dry.

While rain and thunderstorms will occur for at least part of the day, a repeat of a cold headwind that led to slower race times in 2018 is not expected.

Boston marathon April 14

A stiff wind of 10-20 mph will still blow through most of the day on Monday, but winds should generally be from the south to southwest and result in an easier ride for the runners than last year.

Toward the end of when the slower runners will be crossing the finish line, winds may become more westerly as sustained speeds increase to 25 mph. Monday evening into Monday night, gusts of 40-50 mph can raise the risk for sporadic power outages and tree damage.

"The course generally runs in an east-to-northeast manner, meaning any wind from those directions will be coming at the runners head on," Duff stated.

In addition to slower race times, an east-to-northeast wind streaming in from the ocean in April can create downright raw conditions. Temperatures last year were held to the lower and mid-40s with the wind keeping AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures even lower.

MidAtlantic wind

While the rain and wind will still create a chill in the air, Monday will be far better than last year.

"The day will begin in the upper 50s, though temperatures may hit 60 F soon after the first wave of runners start," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Heather Zehr stated.

Temperatures should peak near 68 in the afternoon. A high in the mid-50s is more common in Boston during mid-April.

However, the warmth may set the stage for another shower or thunderstorm to rumble in the afternoon.

Anyone enjoying other Patriots' Day festivities or headed to Fenway Park to watch the Boston Red Sox host the Baltimore Orioles will want to keep an eye to the sky.

Delays to the game are possible if thunderstorms return before the final out.

Gusty winds will usher drier air back across New England as residents of Boston return to work on Tuesday. Since cold air will remain bottled up in Canada, temperatures will still climb to a comfortable high in the lower 60s.

Download the free AccuWeather app to receive hourly weather information for the Boston area. Keep checking back for updates on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

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