JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The forecast for the Daytona 500 weekend is widely varied by the day, from a wet and very windy Thursday, to a beautiful clear and cool Sunday.
On Thursday Daytona will see likely showers and a small possibility of a thunderstorm. Winds will be out of the Northeast between 15 and 20 mph with gusts around 25 mph. These gusty winds could present a problem for RV awnings, etc setting up in the infield. The best chances for showers are early, before 9:00a.m. but chances for showers remain elevated at 60% through 6:00p.m. Rainfall totals just for the day will be between a tenth and a quarter of an inch. Isolated thunderstorms are possible, and if they occur they will present higher rainfall totals.
Thursday night the rain chances start to diminish and pretty much wrap up after 1:00 a.m.. The overnight will be mostly cloudy with temperatures getting down to 65°. The winds will be sustained between 5 and 15 mph with gusts of up to 25 mph.
Friday the weather clears up with sunshine and blue skies. The temperatures will be perfect, hitting 79° for an afternoon high with breezes out of the East northeast between 5 and 15 mph.
Friday night will be partly cloudy and cool. Temperatures will sink down into the upper 50s by dawn, as the winds become calm after midnight.
Saturday, expect mostly sunny skies and slightly warmer temperatures with afternoon highs hitting 81°. There are no chances for rain and winds will be out of the West northwest between 5 and 10 mph.
Saturday evening will also be cool, expect clear skies, west winds between 5 and 10 mph, and overnight lows getting down to 52°.
Sunday starts out beautiful and clear, in the low fifties. Temperatures warm quickly through the 60s, only topping out in the upper 60s for an afternoon high. The afternoon will be cool, sunny, and pleasant. It would be VERY easy to get sunburned, so make sure you wear sunscreen and stick to the shade when you can.
When the green flag drops for the big race the temperature will be 68° with Northerly winds at 9 mph. Expect only 4% sky cover (so don't forget your sunglasses) and there is only a 2% chance for showers.
By 4:00p.m. the temperatures are down to 67° and the winds shift to North northeasterly at 8 mph. The clear skies and calm winds will make for a quick cool down as the sun gets lower on the horizon.
At 6:00p.m. the temperatures will be down to 64°, making for light jacket weather- especially if you got sun on your arms during the day. Winds will become calm, they are at 6mph out of the Northeast. Expect a dry, clear, cool night.
At 8:00p.m. the temperatures will have made it down into the low 60s, with calm winds and clear skies.
If the checkered flag isn't waving by 10:00p.m. you'll need a more significant jacket as temperatures drop from the mid 50s into the low 50s for the later overnight hours.
Share your awesome race day photos with us- The Weather Authority's meteorologist Mark Collins may show your picture on tv on Sunday night. Just download our app StormPins and upload your photos.