Kentucky Derby 2013 Weather: Latest Reports and Conditions from Churchill Downs
It’s finally time for the 139th Kentucky Derby. But while the excitement surrounding the 2013 edition of the fastest two minutes in sports is through the roof, the weather at Churchill Downs is not ideal for Saturday’s marquee event.
Instead of seeing the top horses in the field running in perfect conditions—contenders like morning-line favorite Orb, Verrazano, Goldencents and others—Mother Nature plans on adding the element of rain and moisture to deal with for this packed field.
With rain expected throughout the day and the knowledge that no Kentucky Derby has ever been canceled, the hope is that the post time of 6:24 p.m. ET is not delayed or even postponed.
If you will be attending the festivities at Churchill Downs or watching on television, be conscientious of the weather and the havoc it could wreak on race day at the Kentucky Derby.
The precipitation continues to mercifully let up as the post time for 139th running of the Kentucky Derby inches closer. Weather.com has the latest hour-by-hour breakdown.
Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald-Leader humorously informs the masses at Churchill Downs that it is indeed safe enough to be out in the open once again. One caveat: spectators better have a sturdy pair of rain boots to navigate the pristine grounds:
The sloppy track is going to have a substantial impact on the race, but the grounds crew has had hours at its disposal ahead of the Run for the Roses to improve it as much as possible.
Since the rainfall has finally died down some, it should only enhance conditions without pushing back the starting time to the most exciting two minutes in sports.
According to Weather.com, Mother Nature is giving the fans in attendance at the Kentucky Derby and those watching at home a reprieve from the moisture.
The rain is currently forecasted to subside for only one hour all night; the six o’clock hour (ET). Post time for the Derby is 6:24 p.m. ET.
While the weather looks to clear up for the actual run to the roses, the Lexington Herald-Leader’s official Twitter account notes that plenty of fans are still adorning their full rain gear:
The time is drawing closer, so the fact that weather officials are calling for a dry run (the track will still be considered sloppy) is a great sign for the race.
While the 139th Kentucky Derby and the track at Churchill Downs continue to be soaked by a huge storm hitting Louisville, Weather.com is still reporting that the rain will subside temporarily for the race.
The storm is currently only hitting half of Louisville, causing WKYT chief meteorologist Chris Bailey to sarcastically suggest moving the race across town to Keeneland Race Track:
Last minute change of venue for the Derby? Rain & low 50s at Churchill downs in Louisville. Partly sunny/65 at Keeneland in Lexington. #kywx— Chris Bailey (@Kentuckyweather) May 4, 2013
As much havoc as this storm has caused, the public relations department at Churchill Downs has called the track sloppy, but considers the race probable to go off on time tonight:
The weather continues to be the main focus heading into the race, but there is little doubt that the Derby officials will be able commence the fastest two minutes in sports and complete the event successfully.
As dreary as the forecast has been all day for Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby, Weather.com is saying that there is a chance the six o’clock hour (ET)—post time is 6:24 p.m. ET—could be rain free.
If this prediction is accurate, the grounds keeping team at the facility would have a chance to dry some of the track and get the race off in non-rainy conditions.
The weather outlook continues to look bleak for the rest of the afternoon, though, as CNN’s Weather Center is now advising patrons to bring their rain-proof gear in preparation for a soggy afternoon:
Be sure to bring your rain gear to the Kentucky Derby. Rain is moving into Louisville. radar.weather.gov/radar.php?rid=…— CNN Weather Center (@CNNweather) May 4, 2013
As always, Mother Nature is proving to be a fickle adversary.
The hope that the Kentucky Derby could be run without the interference of Mother Nature is getting dimmer by the minute, and Weather.com is now reporting that rain can be expected at Churchill Downs throughout the day.
The weather front dubbed Winter Storm Achilles is hitting the track hard, and there is little doubt that this rain will have a huge impact on Saturday’s marquee race.
Sports insider Kenny Rice reminds fans of a similar set of circumstances:
Thinking 4 years back rain, rain and mud and50-1 Mine That Bird takes the Roses. Weather factor could be big today #Derby— Kenny Rice (@KennyRiceSports) May 4, 2013
After 139 events without a cancellation, though, the Kentucky Derby is still scheduled for Saturday night despite the ominous weather forecast. Keep an eye as the venue may behind to cancel some of the festivities that surround the event.
The grounds keeping crew at Churchill Downs will be working overtime this weekend as a serious storm front is heading straight toward the track and some of the rain has already arrived at the Kentucky Derby early.
According to WLKY.com’s weather team, there is rain expected throughout the day, including during the scheduled post time for the 139th run for the roses.
If the ominous graphic wasn’t enough to make the big-hat wearing patronage think twice about the wardrobe choices, the forecast from Weather.com will force even the most proper women to cover up with a poncho:
"It now appears the band of rain will set up over the Louisville metro area in time for the Derby late Saturday afternoon. Periods of rain, possibly heavy, are likely."
The hope now is that the officials will be able to get the Kentucky Derby in on Saturday without too much drama or delay, but if Mother Nature continues on the course she is on, there could be serious trouble this afternoon.
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