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Rainy weather can cushion the 145th Kentucky Derby in Churchill Downs

Per Renee DuffAccuWeather Meteorologist
April 30, 2019, 4:48:07 AM EDT

The wet weather may bother Churchill Downs on Saturday as more than 150,000 people gather to watch the 145th Kentucky Derby race.

People who watch the sights and sounds of events ahead of Derby Day need to beware of the hazards of lightning from the storms from Wednesday to Friday.

This includes the Longines Kentucky Oaks race on Friday night.

The risk of storms in the area may cause a delay in the first race on Friday night for children 3 years of age if there are spokes in the vicinity.

Otherwise, it will be smooth for the race with temperatures between 70 and 70 years.

A stopped wet pattern will set you over the Louisville area and lead to these daily opportunities for showers and storms during the second half of the week.

derby kentucky

Win Win Win Trained by Mike Trombetta works alongside trainer Bill Mott Country House and Tacitus during the morning training sessions at Churchill Downs on Monday, April 28, 2019. (Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports)

AccuWeather's meteorologists hope this pattern will continue for at least part of Saturday as the jockeys and their horses prepare to play Run for the Roses.

"The current of moisture that brought the rain and storms from the southern plateau to the Midwest will shift eastward on Friday and Saturday as high pressure on retreats in the southeastern Atlantic Ocean," said the Meteorologist AccuWeather Maura Kelly.


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"The showers are expected in Louisville on Saturday, when the last of that humidity moves forward," he added.

Depending on how fast the last of this humidity passes, conditions can become drier during the Kentucky Derby, which should begin at 18:50. EDT. A slower start would allow humid conditions to persist during the race.

The risk of lightening hazards should decrease in Derby Day.

derby day

Last year, it registered the wettest Derby Day ever recorded, with 3.15 inches of rain, which resulted in tricky track conditions.

The expected rain before and during race day may leave the area flooded, according to Kelly.

last week's perspective

Mudders, or horses that run well under wet or muddy conditions, can be favored if the track conditions are classified as "sloppy" for the race.

"Cyclists should be prepared with rain gear and shoes for muddy conditions in the field," Kelly said.

Spectators will want to bring a poncho or umbrella to go along with their extravagant hats.

"Temperatures will reach the mid-70s on Saturday, but limited conditions of sun and humidity can make it look a bit cooler," Kelly said.

Temperatures can dip in the lower 70s of the night race.

Download the free AccuWeather app to stay up-to-date on the latest Derby Day predictions and track the rain minute by minute using the MinuteCast & reg exclusive. Continue to check for updates on and stay connected on the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

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