As expected, the race has been rescheduled. NASCAR gave its all to get Atlanta Motor Speedway dry Sunday night, but Mother Nature had other plans – courtesy of Tropical Storm Lee, which is now a tropical depression.
After one hour, 45 minutes of jet driers and service vehicles working hard to dry the track, it took just one small shower to erase all the work that had been done and NASCAR decided at about 9:45 to call the race and rescheduled the race for 11 a.m. EDT on Tuesday – NOT MONDAY.
SO WHY TUESDAY AND NOT MONDAY?
Simply put, the weather and the safety of the fans. Tropical depression Lee will work through Mississippi and Alabama on Monday, ending up joining a stalled cold front to the north on Tuesday evening in Tennessee. Lots of tropical moisture will surge north through Alabama and Georgia creating numerous showers and scattered thunderstorms.
Flash flood watches continue for northern Georgia including Atlanta Motor Speedway back into Alabama and Mississippi from now until Tuesday midday. Rain amounts by Tuesday midday could range from 3 to 5 inches for areas in the watch with some spots seeing 7 inches locally across northern Georgia. The other threat on Monday is some storms producing isolated tornadoes.
The Storm Prediction Center out of Norman Oklahoma has most of Georgia and Alabama under a slight risk of severe storms. The main threat being gusty winds and isolated tornadoes. Here is what the local National Weather Service office has to say about the tornado threat across central Georgia.
THE TORNADO THREAT ACROSS THE CWA REMAINS VERY REAL. ISOLD TORNADOESALREADY NOTED ACROSS AL EARLIER THIS EVENING WITH VERY WEAK...SEEMINGLY BENIGN APPEARING SHOWERS WITH NO LIGHTNING... ...THE TORNADO THREAT WILL INCREASE ACROSS THE FFC CWA AND WILL NEED TO BE WATCHED VERY CAREFULLY. TROPICAL TORNADOES SPIN UP VERY QUICKLY AND THE PARENT CELLS OFTEN EXHIBIT LITTLE OR NO LIGHTNING.
NASCAR made the right decision and I applaud them for scheduling the race for Tuesday when the weather looks better.
SO HOW DOES THE WEATHER LOOK TUESDAY MORNING?
The images below are the model print out for Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. EDT (This was the closest information to 2 p.m. EDT and also the driest)
This is a much better picture than I have been showing over the past few days. Yes there are areas of green across north central Georgia but the rain is on the way out and I think we WILL get the race in on Tuesday. Maybe not at 11 a.m. (not feeling confident about the morning start) but once we get past midday and head into the afternoon and evening the threat of rain decreases and I feel good about seeing a Tuesday race.
DETAILED RACE FORECAST:
Numerous rain showers with isolated thunderstorms. Some storms could produce isolated tornadoes. Slight risk for severe weather across central and northern Georgia. .
Numerous showers and isolated storms during the morning, windy and cooler. Shower threat becomes less as moisture exits afternoon and evening. Winds could gust 20-30 mph and highs in the mid to upper 70s.
11 a.m EDT
Sprint Cup Race – Showers and isolated storms possible through the morning, windy – temp: 74
2 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup Race – Clouds, some sunshine few lingering scattered showers – temp: 78