Will It Rain At The Indy 500 Today?

It's possible, but how will that affect the race?

Indianapolis 500 Mile Race - Practice
Matthew Stockman—Getty Images

Rain could be on the way to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Exactly when it arrives and how heavy it is could drastically affect the race.

Unlike road and street courses, running in the rain on a super speedway is not something anyone wants to do. It's just too unsafe, even with rain tires. 

So what will happen if it rains, or more specifically, when it rains?

Gabriel Loewenberg / Weather Undergorund

Today's weather forecast for Indianapolis

The Indy 500 is scheduled to go green at 12:19pm ET. The race takes about three hours to run. The latest forecast has the chance of rain around 2pm at 30%, which is about halfway through the race. That chance goes up to 47% an hour later. Rather than a solid line of storms marching through, the prediction is patchy storms, which means that the IMS could remain dry while it's pouring nearby. 

If the track gets hit with a more than a sprinkle, the race will more than likely be red flagged until it passes and the track can be dried. Maybe this will give Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti a chance to run for Taco Bell again?

If the rain doesn't let up, the race could be stopped and continued the next day when things dry out. But If heavy rains come late in the race, the decision made to end the race early. Indycar is due to race twice in Detroit next weekend, so there isn't a lot of wiggle room for postponing things and restarting more than 24 hours later. 

And with rain comes wind. Even if the rain misses the track, the wind will be higher than optimal. When you are driving around at 230 mph, any wind is too much wind. A heavy gust will unsettle a car with no warning. 

Other potential hazards that could come with the storms are lightning and hail. If these conditions materialize, they are of more concern for the 300,000 or so fans who have showed up to watch the race. If lightning is in the area, IndyCar will stop the race and will issue a shelter in place order for the fans. 

If you are at the race today, please take any weather warnings very seriously and follow the instructions of track personnel. First and foremost, be safe out there. 

While we all love a wet race, this isn't the one of the ones we want rain at. We'll see soon enough how this plays out.