Wednesday, October 10, 2012

NASCAR fans will need jackets

As the headline says, fans headed for three nights of racing Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway will need their jackets.  But they won't have to worry about rain. And they'll probably see sunshine on their way to the track.

The cold air wedge finally broke down overnight, which means the clouds and drizzle are gone. So are the chilly temperatures, with highs 15 to 20 degrees below average the past two days.

Instead, we'll have sunshine and highs in the low 70s Wednesday.

The weather headlines over the next few days will be dominated by a series of weak cold fronts crossing the region. The fronts are forecast to be dry, but we'll notice a change of air mass -- about every other day -- as the fronts pass.

For example: The forecast high Thursday will be about 5 degrees cooler than today. That's because a cold front is crossing the region tonight.

Then it'll warm back to the mid 70s Friday, drop about 5 degrees again Saturday behind a front, before warming to the upper 70s Sunday and Monday.

The only possible fly in the ointment is the development of a weak cold air wedge Saturday morning, when high pressure will be centered over New England. But National Weather Service meteorologists think we'll retain partly sunny skies that day.

A frost advisory is posted for Wednesday night and Thursday morning in the mountains, with lows in the middle and upper 30s. In the Charlotte region, lows will reach the lower 40s at daybreak Thursday -- which is chilly, but not frost territory.

Now, for the races ...

Fans can expect temperatures during Pole Night events Thursday to be in the low 60s, dropping into the upper 50s by the end of the evening.

Friday night temperatures will start in the upper 60s and fall to the lower 60s.  And Saturday night, fans can expect temperatures in the mid 60s at the start of the race, falling to the upper 50s.