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TRE Meteorology Watch – Weekend Weather: Gander Outdoors 400

Fans at Pocono in June 2018
Fans watch the closing laps of the 2018 Pocono 400. (Tyler Head | The Racing Experts)

It’s time for your much needed race weather summary ahead of this weekend’s activities at Pocono Raceway. The month of July has been quite soggy this year in the state of Pennsylvania.

The pattern of high and low pressure systems witnessed over the last week and a half has certainly been a main contributing factor to the recent heavy rainfall totals across Pennsylvania.

An upper air disturbance of low pressure had become stationary over upstate New York and portions of New England, which created a clear blocking setup in our weather pattern. This provided an easy passageway for moisture to be pumped into our region from the Gulf of Mexico, bringing warmer air, higher humidity, and some of the heaviest tropical downpours that have been seen during the month of July.

Several periods of heavy rain fell over eastern and central portions of Pennsylvania throughout the last ten days. At one point in time this past weekend, the National Weather Service in Philadelphia (Mount Holly, N.J.) had issued flash flood warning areas that extended within a large area from Tioga to Gettysburg – a straight line distance of almost 150 miles apart, extending from the north central portion of the state to the south central portion.

Now imagine how many square miles that would be! Heavy showers and thunderstorms have certainly been abundant this summer, but with a little luck and some sympathy from Mother Nature, we look forward to getting this Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Gander Outdoors 400 race in on schedule.

There will certainly be a few weather surprises along the way as forecasted for this weekend’s activities. Wondering what that surprise will be? Check out the official TRE Meteorology Watch below for the most accurate weather information before you head out to the track!

Truex celebrates Pocono victory
Martin Truex Jr. does a burnout after his victory in the 2018 Pocono 400. (Tyler Head | The Racing Experts)

Friday, July 27th

While not a washout, Friday is the most unsettled of the three days for this weekend.  Scattered showers and thunderstorms will roll through the area during the late afternoon and early evening.

The National Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Oklahoma has currently placed much of the Mid-Atlantic at a Slight risk for Severe Weather to occur Friday afternoon and evening. This area includes Pocono Raceway.

A cold front will approach the region from Canada, which will clash with a warm and humid subtropical air mass, creating the chance for more storms and locally heavy rainfall.

With high temperatures in the upper 70s and dew points in the mid 60s, the atmosphere will be very sticky on Friday. Pop up showers could occur in the morning and early afternoon prior to the storms, with some peeks of sunshine through a cloudy sky.

Morning fog and cloud cover is expected, which should give way to sunny skies by early afternoon before the storms arrive later in the day. As of now, the best chance for the strongest thunderstorms appears to be between the 4 PM and 7 PM time frame on Friday.

ARCA fans should be prepared with appropriate rain gear and check conditions throughout the day. Flooding could be a concern on the roadways, so be very careful on your drive home Friday night.  Move indoors when thunderstorms approach your area.

Racing at Pocono
Martin Truex Jr. (78) and Kyle Busch (18) race during the 2018 Pocono 400. (Tyler Head | The Racing Experts)

Saturday, July 28th

The truck race is on, folks! A 20 percent chance of a stray shower or thunderstorm, but nothing should get in the way of planned activities. Any shower or storm activity should be isolated in nature, and most locations won’t even see rainfall.

Aside from one brief shower somewhere, it will be mostly sunny for the rest of day, with a light westerly wind to keep you comfortable! Look for high temperatures in the lower 80s, and a full day of racing events planned. It will still be a bit humid, but definitely not as sticky compared to Friday.

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Photo: Justin Melillo / The Racing Experts

Sunday, July 29th

Sunday will bring in sunny skies, low humidity, and temperatures in the upper 70s for race day.

Our next storm system will approach from the West beginning Sunday night, but it looks like the best chances for rain on Sunday are in western and central Pennsylvania.

The shower activity should remain to our west and approach the area well after the conclusion of the race. Look for abundant sunshine right from the beginning of race day.

It will be a perfect morning to attend an autograph session with your favorite driver on Sunday!

With the start time around 2:30 p.m., you will most definitely want to arrive to the track early in the day to grab some food and drink and enjoy the perfect July weather.

A big surprise just in time for race day, as we will also lose a lot of humidity in the air, creating comfortable conditions for everyone! And of course, bring plenty of water with you inside that cooler to stay hydrated throughout race day.

Your body will lose a lot more fluid than you could ever replenish while outdoors.

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Photo: Tyler Head / The Racing Experts

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks! We have been rewarded with a couple really nice weekend days during a month that has been a true summer soaker. We will definitely take it.

Make sure you have an accurate weather app on your smartphone to monitor conditions in real time throughout the weekend. I recommend the AccuWeather app for receiving the most accurate forecast information, and also the RadarScope app to track your location in comparison to rain and thunderstorm activity approaching your area in real time, which is linked directly to the Weather Service Doppler Radars used by the National Weather Service and a few Federal Aviation Administration airport radars across the country.

Check out these apps and consider downloading them to your smartphone or mobile device to stay up to date with changing weather conditions. If you read this article, you are certainly off to a great start for the weekend!

Have fun this weekend, race fans! Best of luck to your favorite driver as they take on the ‘Tricky Triangle’ for the second time this year. Maybe we will see a first time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series winner on a fantastic summer day in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.

Sources

National Weather Service

AccuWeather

RadarScope

Dante Ricci View All

I am a motorsports photographer for The Racing Experts and have been an affiliate since July 2015. My current assignments include races in the 2018 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series Schedule. I am also the chief Meteorologist for our organization, specializing in general forecasting for any location on the planet! My hobbies include running, fishing, soccer, sports officiating, and broadcasting. Also a Rutgers University Alumni, and a trained SKYWARN storm spotter!

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