The 114th annual Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville takes place this Saturday. The post time for the race is scheduled for 6:34pm ET, but the actual race will start at 6:46pm, a race which only lasts for about two minutes for the twenty-one horses. The favored horse, named Firenze Fire, has a 69-1 odds of winning this year’s Kentucky Derby, but based on the weather forecast the rain may impact the performance of all the horses.

Unfortunately, rain is likely through much of the day Saturday. A mid-level low tracking from the Southern Plains through the Mid-Atlantic will be responsible for bringing a widespread light to moderate rain to the Mid-Mississippi, Tennessee, and Ohio River Valleys as well as to the central Appalachian Mountains on Saturday. During the morning hours in Louisville, there may just be a few showers that sneak in ahead of the main shied of rain. This steady rain will move into midday, lasting through early-Sunday morning. At least temperatures will be quite seasonable, hovering around the 70 degree mark in the afternoon. At race time, the temperature should be at about 70 degrees.

This rain will make for very sloppy track conditions. It’s not unusual for rain on race day for the Kentucky Derby, however. 46 percent of the time, measurable rain has been recorded, including 17 percent of which that has featured at least half an inch of rainfall. On the other hand, more than half (54 percent) of Kentucky Derbies have featured no rain and either sun or cloudy conditions. If you’re planning on going to the event this year, be sure to have the rain gear but enjoy the race!

Featured Image Credit: Kentucky Derby


Jackson is Head of Content and Social Media at WeatherOptics. He is currently a student at the University of Miami, studying Meteorology and Broadcast Journalism. Dill produces forecast articles for the website and helps to manage the content schedule. He has also led the growth of WeatherOptics’ social media accounts, working to keep them aligned with the company’s evolving vision.

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