Sunny day forecast ahead of 144th Preakness Stakes, but pop-up afternoon downpour can't be ruled out
By Kyle Elliott, AccuWeather meteorologist
May 18, 2019, 1:31:08 AM EDT
Weather conditions are likely to be benign for Saturday’s 144th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.
The Preakness Stakes is the second leg of the Triple Crown, which begins with the Kentucky Derby and concludes with the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, New York.
In stark contrast to the 2019 Kentucky Derby, a bright and beautiful day is forecast for the Preakness Stakes. Winds should be light with a mixture of clouds and sunshine as well as seasonable temperatures.
After temperatures start out in the middle to upper 60s on Saturday morning, they will rise to near 80 by the mid-afternoon hours. By the time of the race at 6:48 p.m. EDT, temperatures should fall back into the middle 70s F.
"There is a chance of a pop-up thunderstorm downpour wandering across the Baltimore area during the late afternoon and evening hours," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
"While the odds are against long-duration rainfall, it would be unfortunate as even a brief downpour just before or during the race could be a spoiler."
This risk is due to a stalled front nearby with cool air to the northeast and warm air to the southwest.
At this time, however, the more likely case is for sunshine and generally tranquil weather to prevail, creating an ideal setting for jockeys, staff and spectators at the race.
In lieu of any last-minute downpour, track conditions are likely to be the complete opposite of what they were for the Kentucky Derby, where heavy rain the day of the race led to sloppy and muddy track conditions.
Detailed Baltimore weather forecast
1st 90-degree heat in sight for parts of mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley as cool air fights on to the north
PGA Championship: Warm, mostly dry conditions forecast for Sunday's final round at Bethpage Black
For the first time in the history of the Derby, the horse that crossed the finish line first, Maximum Security, was not declared the winner of the race.
Toward the end of the race, the jockey riding Maximum Security was disqualified from the race for “failure to control his mount and make the proper effort to maintain a straight course, thereby causing interference with several rivals that resulted in the disqualification of his mount,” according to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, the New York Times reported.
Due to the disqualification, Country House, the horse that crossed the finish line in second place, was declared the official winner of the race.
Mudders, or horses that run well in wet or muddy conditions, that were favored at the Kentucky Derby could face significantly lower odds at the Preakness, where track conditions should be dry.
Last year, track conditions were sloppy and muddy at the Preakness Stakes after days of heavy rain inundated the mid-Atlantic region. Rain was also falling during the race, which took place on May 19. Over one half of an inch of rain was recorded that day at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
This year, horses that run well in dry conditions could be favored if any stray downpour stays away from the track.
Download the free AccuWeather app to stay up to date on the latest Preakness forecast. Keep checking back for updates on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
More Weather News
Weather News - June 18, 2019, 2:38:50 PM EDT
Survivors recount their terrifying close encounter with an EF2 tornado that ripped through town in the span of 10 minutes.
Weather News - June 18, 2019, 2:41:02 PM EDT
A Danish researcher's striking image isn't exactly what it seems at first glance — and scientists say scenes like this could become all too common in the future.
Weather News - June 19, 2019, 2:53:53 AM EDT
Storms that erupt over the Florida Peninsula into Wednesday evening may pack a wallop in terms of rainfall and gusty winds.
Showers, thunderstorms to dampen early days at Royal Ascot; Will dry weather return for the weekend?
Weather News - June 18, 2019, 12:00:49 PM EDT
Wet weather will be a concern for those attending the Royal Ascot on Wednesday, but some improvement is expected later this week.
Weather News - June 19, 2019, 2:55:09 AM EDT
The caboose in a train of storm systems will travel from the Midwest to the Northeast with concentrated heavy rain and the potential for severe weather -- it will also usher in an end to the stormy pattern for a time.
Weather News - June 19, 2019, 1:28:44 AM EDT
A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck off the coast of northwestern Japan late Tuesday night local time (around 9:22 a.m. EDT), the United States Geological Survey said.
Weather News - June 19, 2019, 12:26:09 AM EDT
India avoided a direct hit from former Tropical Cyclone Vayu; however, the northwest parts of the country will still be at risk for flash flooding into Wednesday.
Weather News - June 18, 2019, 9:33:52 AM EDT
Satellite images show things are relatively quiet now, but a cluster of showers and thunderstorms is expected to grow and eventually develop into a tropical system.