Author: Kris Brandt Riske

Spring 2016 Weather Forecast

The spring 2016 weather forecast for the continental United States is now available on (under the seasonal forecasts tab).

Some areas will see significant precipitation and flooding, and tornado potential will be high during some weeks in April and May in the Plains and southeast. Both could of course impact this spring’s NASCAR races, depending on timing and location.

Joaquin and Dover

Category 4 Hurricane Joaquin on October 1, 2015, as viewed by GOES-13. Photo: NOAA

Category 4 Hurricane Joaquin on October 1, 2015, as viewed by GOES-13. Photo: NOAA

The meteorology models regarding the path of Hurricane Joaquin differ greatly, with some saying it will make landfall in the Carolinas/Virginia or north of there and others saying it will turn and head out into the Atlantic. Astrometeorology can be a real asset in pinpointing the direction/landfall of a hurricane.

Based on the autumn ingress chart and the October 4, 2015 lunar phase chart, Joaquin appears to be headed for the northeast, with landfall in Maine/Canada. Saturn (overcast, cool, storms) and Neptune (precipitation, flooding) are prominent there in the ingress chart, and Neptune is prominent in the lunar phase chart. The lunar phase chart also has a Mars-Neptune opposition – a classic hurricane aspect.

So this weekend’s scheduled race at Dover is likely to be rescheduled because of the effects of Joaquim. Will it be Monday? Maybe. Tuesday? More likely. Monday depends on the rain stopping in time to dry the track and run at least half the laps before sundown – iffy, at best.

Be sure to check out the Autumn Forecast, a seasonal overview of the next three months.

Erika Headed West

Tropical Storm Erika is churning its way through the Caribbean, where it’s likely to weaken somewhat as it crosses the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and then Cuba, after which it will begin to encounter warmer sea surface temperatures (SST) conducive to strengthening.

Although Floridians are already wisely preparing for Erika’s arrival and wet weather, the storm’s main target is more likely to be the Gulf coast states of Louisiana and Texas.

The potential for heavy precipitation in the Gulf from a tropical disturbance was set at the summer ingress of June 21, 2015. In that chart, a Mercury-Neptune square aspects the chart angles (longitude and latitude), always a strong indication of cloudy, wet weather. That aspect, which forewarns of hurricanes, tornadoes, and abundant precipitation, will be activated by the Full Moon of August 29, which will be in effect for the following seven days.

Erika could easily get a fresh boost of energy in the warmer Gulf waters as it heads for the Gulf coast states. Look for its arrival September 1-2.

Kentucky Rain

Sparta, Kentucky and the surrounding area is in a generally cloudy and wet pattern the week of the July 8-15 lunar phase. Thus, rain could cause a bit of havoc for the three NASCAR races there this weekend.

The Trucks race is Thursday evening (July 9), when there is fortunately little chance for race-changing weather. There could, however, be a shower, because of the general weather pattern.

The same may not be true of Friday evening’s (July 10) Xfinity race. Rain is a definite possibility during the hour or two before the scheduled green flag, which is about the time it should taper off and end.

Although we’re unlikely to see another middle-of-the-night race like last week at Daytona, astrometeorology indicates a high probability of cloudy skies and rain on Saturday, July 11, the date of the evening Cup race. The Moon will activate the week’s strong lineup for rain and overcast skies (Venus opposition Saturn contacting the lunar phase chart meridian), beginning in the late morning. The good news is that astrometeorology indicates the rain could begin to move out mid-afternoon, with scattered showers until about an hour before the scheduled green flag. Caveat: it’s always possible that atmospheric conditions could create overcast skies with only a few insignificant showers, but the planetary lineup active during this lunar phase is a classic one for overcast skies and heavy precipitation.

Bristol Rainout?

Maybe. Maybe not.

The meteorology models are nearly unanimous in forecasting a rainout for Sunday’s Bristol race, and Monday looks more favorable.

Astrometeorology, however, has a different take on the Bristol weather. Which doesn’t necessarily mean the race will happen or be completed on Sunday.

Planetary alignments indicate heavy rain beginning about 9-10 pm Saturday and continuing until about 2-3 am on Sunday. Monday looks even wetter, with rain beginning in the early morning hours and continuing until early to mid afternoon.

However, with so much moisture in the atmosphere and the region, light, on-and-off rain is a real possibility and would be enough to postpone the race because of the time necessary to dry the track.

NASCAR Atlanta Weather

Atlanta is in the target area for rainy weather during the February 28-March 1 NASCAR weekend, and temperatures will be well below normal.

Friday evening Cup qualifying will be rain-free, as will the Xfinity and Truck races on Saturday. However, a front will move through the area Friday evening, bringing rain overnight/early morning hours. Conditions will be very windy, adding to the chill of the already below average temperatures.

Sunday’s Cup race has a greater probability for rain delays as it doesn’t take much precipitation to red flag a race, and an early checkered flag is possible. But heavy rain should hold off until after the scheduled end of the race. Windy conditions will prevail as another front moves into the area. Atlanta will be wet on Monday

Holiday Travel

Think SnowThe week of December 21, 2014, could be problematic for some travelers as winter weather moves out of the west and through the Plains states and into the east. Although not a severe storm, precipitation could bring travel delays, with the heaviest downfall in eastern Plains and Great Lakes region. The good news: those wishing for one have a good chance of seeing a white Christmas across much of the country’s northern latitudes.

More southern latitudes will see rain or a rain-snow mix, and the southeastern United States will be wet both pre- and post-Christmas.

If you’re looking for sunny skies, the southwest and southern and central California will be precipitation-free.

NASCAR Miami Weather and Championship Winner

Miami HomesteadThere’s no rain in the forecast for the November 16 race at Homestead-Miami – unlike the following day.Miami Homestead

Who will win the championship? It’s a toss-up between Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick, from an astrological perspective. (Accuracy is minimized when predictions are based only on birth date, without an accurate birth time.) However, Kevin Harvick has the edge because of two current luck factors in his astrological chart. One occurs about every twelve years and the other is a once-in-a-lifetime event. The odds for both occurring at the same time are even slimmer. So Kevin Harvick is the best choice for 2014 champion.