Today is
Added April 29th, 2010 by David Glisan

Wild Weather Likely For Kentucky Derby

The 137th running of the Kentucky Derby takes place on Saturday, and the weather forecast suggests that some crazy weather could make what is shaping up to be one of the most wide open races in years even more chaotic.  First, the good news–the weather for Friday’s Kentucky Oaks (the weekend’s marquee race for fillies) looks absolutely perfect.  The forecast for Friday calls for sunny skies, temperatures in the high 70’s and low 80’s and fairly tolerable humidity (at least by the standards of humidity in the Southeastern US).

Oddly enough, the Kentucky Oaks will almost certainly be overshadowed by one of the races on the undercard.  The 6th race on Friday’s Churchill Downs docket is the La Troienne Stakes, a 1 1/16 mile race for fillies and mares 3 years and up known until recently as the Louisville Stakes.  Among the entries in the La Troienne is a filly named Rachel Alexandra, who just happens to be the reigning Eclipse Award winner for “Horse of the Year”.   With all due respect to the fine equine athletes running on the rest of the card, her presence here is like all of those stories/urban legends you hear about Jimi Hendrix opening for The Monkees and whatnot.  Along with the sport’s other distaff superstar Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra is a four legged rock star and is inevitably the center of attention.  She’s making her first start since a disappointing second place finish in the New Orleans Ladies at Fairgrounds earlier this spring.  And were that not enough of a storyline in itself, she’ll be rematching against the horse that beat her in New Orleans, Zardana.

After the gorgeous weather for the Oaks and ‘Rachel-palooza’, a weather system that forecasts are describing as just short of a plague of Biblical proportions will rush in just in time for Saturday.  When the ‘best case scenario’ forecast is for thunderstorms accompanied by 1 or 2 inches of rain, that’s not a good sign.  Some of the more…uh…’apocalyptic’ forecasts are predicting up to five inches of rain starting early Saturday morning and continuing throughout the weekend.  Gusty winds and hail are also a possibility, though there’s been no mention of frogs or locust–yet.

In addition to race horses, Kentucky provides us with another of God’s gracious gifts in the form of premium bourbon (I highly recommend Blanton’s, which even has a race horse figurine on the top of the bottle) so the foul weather won’t spoil the mood of race goers.  It will, however, make an already difficult to handicap Kentucky Derby even more insane.  We’re hard at work handicapping both Friday’s Kentucky Oaks and Saturday’s Kentucky Derby even as we speak so check back often as we’ll be updating here at Sports Untapped as we complete our selections.  For the Derby, we’ll also come up with a ‘foul weather’ best bet and determine which of the 20 horses entered in the race would perform the best if the ‘worst case scenario’ for the weather transpires.

Below is the official National Weather Service ‘special weather statement’ for the Louisville area:

… AN ACTIVE WEATHER PERIOD IS EXPECTED EARLY SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT WITH HEAVY RAINS… STRONG TO SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS… AND FLOODING LIKELY…

STRONG SOUTHERLY FLOW WILL SETUP FRIDAY… ALLOWING FOR A LARGE AMOUNT OF WARM AND MOIST AIR TO FILTER INTO OUR REGION FROM THE GULF OF MEXICO. THIS MOISTURE ALONG WITH AN APPROACHING FRONTAL BOUNDARY AND MULTIPLE UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCES WILL RESULT IN SEVERAL ROUNDS OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE OHIO VALLEY THIS WEEKEND.

THE FIRST EPISODE WILL TAKE PLACE SATURDAY MORNING AS A COLD FRONT APPROACHES FROM THE WEST AND STALLS OUT ACROSS THE AREA. A LARGE AREA OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS CAN BE EXPECTED… WITH A FEW STRONG STORMS BEING POSSIBLE. THE MAIN THREAT WITH THESE STORMS WOULD BE STRONG WINDS AND SMALL HAIL. HOWEVER… THE BIGGER THREAT WITH THIS FIRST EPISODE WILL BE HEAVY RAINFALL WITH 1 TO 2 INCHES LIKELY. WITH THE FRONT STALLED OUT ACROSS THE REGION ON SATURDAY… SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE POSSIBLE DURING THE AFTERNOON HOURS AS WELL… BUT THESE STORMS ARE NOT EXPECTED TO BE STRONG.

A SECOND MORE WIDESPREAD ROUND OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS IS EXPECTED SUNDAY MORNING THROUGH EARLY SUNDAY AFTERNOON AS STRONG LOW PRESSURE MOVES ACROSS THE AREA. STRONG TO SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED DURING THIS TIME FRAME. THE MAIN SEVERE THREATS WILL BE DAMAGING WINDS… LARGE HAIL… AND ISOLATED TORNADOES. THOUGH AGAIN… THE BIGGER THREAT WILL BE HEAVY RAINFALL WITH ANOTHER 1 TO 2 INCHES OF RAINFALL BEING POSSIBLE WITH THIS ACTIVITY.

TOTAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES ARE LIKELY THIS WEEKEND… WITH SOME AREAS PERHAPS SEEING AS MUCH AS 5 INCHES OR MORE. THIS MUCH RAINFALL IN A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME WILL LIKELY RESULT IN FLOODING PROBLEMS… ESPECIALLY IN LOW-LYING AND FLOOD PRONE AREAS. THUS… A FLASH FLOOD WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM SATURDAY MORNING THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING.

RESIDENTS OF SOUTH-CENTRAL INDIANA AND CENTRAL KENTUCKY ARE ENCOURAGED TO STAY ABREAST OF THE LATEST FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED FOR THE POTENTIAL FOR SEVERE WEATHER AND FLOODING PROBLEMS THIS WEEKEND.

 
Bookmark and Share

Leave a Reply