CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It's Derby day! The 143rd Kentucky Derby is Saturday evening, of course, on the first Saturday of May. The forecast for 2017 calls for morning rain, which should clear out by Saturday evening.
Since the Derby is held so early in the month of May and so early in the spring, the sport has seen a huge variety of weather over it's history. I thought it would be interesting to look at some of the weather highs and lows over the history of the Derby.
-Coldest temp: 36° on May 4, 1940 AND on May 4, 1957
(The cold temps on May 4, 1957 were accompanied by 20-25 mph north winds, meaning wind chills were in the 20s! Brrrr!!)
-Hottest temp: 94° on May 2, 1959
-Wettest day: 2.31" of rain fell on May 11, 1918
-Frozen precipitation: On May 6, 1989 sleet was observed from 1:01pm to 1:05pm.
-Out of the 142 Derbys in history, 66 (46%) experienced rain at some point during the day.
The Derby in 2016 recorded .28" of rain, so it looks like this will be the second year in a row with a wet track. There are Saturday morning showers in the forecast for Louisville, but the rain should be gone by race-time later Saturday evening. However, temps will only be around 60°, making it one of the coolest races in recent years.
- Meteorologist Lyndsay Tapases