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.

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.