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Formula One Weather Forecast: European Grand Prix 2010

Ian Fergusson | 14:12 UK time, Sunday, 20 June 2010

Valencia, 25-27 June 2010 (Round 9)

(This forecast will be regularly updated. This entry: Sunday 27 June, 11:50hrs BST)

Quick Links:


Nowcast Updates:

Sun. 12:55BST: Increasing cloud from the south, courtesty of the feature edging north (described below). Along the Costa Blanca south of Valencia (Benidorm and environs), it's now producing some isolated showers coastally and somewhat inland.Still worth keeping an eye on these developments albeit main thrust of any PPN remains offshore edging NNE.

Sun. 11:50BST: A dry, fine start in Valencia today, albeit the cumulus clouds forming in skies above the circuit are offering a hint of increasing mid-level destabilization. It's because to the south, an area of forcing moving northwards is producing a thundery cluster presently developing offshore through the Catalon Sea into Ibiza (very evident on satellite -  see link above). It's recently showing signs of further convective developments up through the Costa Blanca itself. The main thrust takes a NNE trajectory just offshore away from Valencia and so any risk of showers still remains small (as noted in previous updates) through the race window. Nonetheless, it's worth keeping a eye of the satellite / radar links above....certainly can't offer a cast-iron guarantee of totally dry weather this afternoon, albeit this remains highly probable for the race itself.


Forecast Headlines:

(PPN = Precipitation)

Friday: Sunny; chance of PPN 35%.  Max 26C. Winds moderate ESE.

Saturday: Sunny; chance of PPN 30%. Max 26C. Winds moderate ESE.

Sunday: Sunny; chance of PPN 35%. Max 26C. Winds moderate, SE. 



Fernando Alonso tackles the Valencia street circuit in the Renault during 2009's event. After a strong showing in Montreal, he's upbeat about his chances for this year's European GP in the Ferrari. Dry, sunny weather will prevail (Photo: AP / Alberto Saiz)

Synopsis and Forecast Emphasis:

After rather dull races for the past two years, I'm sure many fans would crave for a spell of wet running to enliven the spectacle at Valencia's street circuit. If so, you might well be disappointed with this weekend's forecast...

However, I think this year's race could well prove a good deal better in any case - not least given the tight level of competitiveness we've witnessed in some very compelling races this season.

Dry or mostly dry conditions are expected across Valencia each day for this year's event, with a low (typically <40%) collective chance of showers from Friday to the end of Sunday. A thermal low has developed across peninsular Spain, delivering some hefty showers and thunderstorms inland where they'll continue as the weekend progresses. However, the precipitation signal from various model ensembles remains fairly low for Mediterranean coastal districts of Spain and similarly across Valencia itself. So albeit showers are possible, they're unlikely.

Each day will see some very warm conditions in periods of strong sunshine as temperatures readily climb to the mid to high 20's C and track temperatures doubtless way up into mid 40'sC+. Winds will remain mostly light during the morning, but with moderate sea breezes then developing into the afternoon.

In turn, these sea breezes could - if conditions are favourable - offer a convergence zone 'strip' inland where some towering cumulus clouds will tend to grow and offer an increased shower potential by evening. It's not impossible that some evening and overnight showers could appear over Valencia, albeit this remains a low point probability.

The UK Met Office's MOGREPS ensemble modelling has offered around a 40% chance of precipitation (effectively as light showers) at some stage across Valencia and environs during the weekend, with greatest focus on Friday and Saturday. Spanish probability of precipitation (PoP) models are in agreement, offering a collective rainfall chance around 15-40%, peaking on Friday and with the driest signal for Sunday. The GFS ensemble also paints an essentially low rainfall probability. All the NWP products agree on keeping the greatest shower potential a good deal further inland, especially into northern-central parts of Spain. Early Friday morning, some showers have been skirting towards the Costa del Sol as a small area of forcing migrates northeastwards; this will tend to offer some convective developments into parts of the Costa Blanca later and still a small potential for showers.


  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    No surprise as to a low chance of rain for Valencia, was to be expected in all honesty. Just hope it gives us a remotely decent race for a change (personally I think the only thing keeping the drivers awake during the race in the last 2 years has been the noise of the cars moving, otherwise they'd probably want to nod off).

  • Comment number 3.

    Ian, the Formula One website is suggesting fog on Saturday and Sunday.

    Do you have any thoughts about this? If there will be fog, how serious will it be in terms of driver visability?

  • Comment number 4.

    "After rather dull races for the past two years, I'm sure many fans would crave for a spell of wet running to enliven the spectacle at Valencia's street circuit."

    Does this include you Ian? Do you think the new tracks are so boring, they bring us rubbish races?

  • Comment number 5.

    Hi Peter, re the fog 'spot' forecast you refer to - it's not supported whatsoever in the detailed modelling I've seen. Visibility looks pretty good throughout the event and the synoptics do not favour fog formation in the strict sense. It could be a spurious data feed from the model that supplies - with little or no human intervention and 'tweaking' - most 'free-to-view' weather sites (i.e., which are using the US-GFS model) or, more likely, a prospect of some early mist which will very quickly dissipate in the strong sunshine. We're certainly not expecting fog to influence this race weekend. Worth adding that the UK Met Office Global Model continues to offer a very slight chance of light daytime showers into Friday (the BBC graphics, which are directly fed by the UKMO model (not the GFS one), have picked-up on this element as the 'significant' weather type shown that day). Very low probability of this, mind you! Spanish forecasters place the chance as 15%. Met Office model agrees. Best, Ian

  • Comment number 6.

    Hi Sparkmarky, thanks for your post! Interesting question you pose. I guess Valencia tends to be foremost in my mind as a disappointment - so far, at least - given it looked so much more dynamic and 'racy' when first touted, designed and then opened. Granted, last year's event was a bit more spicy compared to the inaugural (tedious) event and I'm actually confident that we'll see an improved spectacle also unfold this time, too. Some of the 'new' tracks have proven very worthy indeed (i.e., from the H Tilke design stable). Turkey, few would dispute, very much fits the bill; but I've been impressed with various others offered from the inclusion of Sepang onwards: not least the events in Shanghai, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Having said that and while embracing these new challenges and venues, I think most F1 fans still subscribe to the view that races hosted at the remaining 'traditional' (if increasingly emasculated) circuits continue to offer an inimitable requirement for 'true grit' driving style and utmost precision: e.g., Montreal, Monaco, Silverstone, Spa, Monza, Suzuka (Interlagos in some respects, too). Hockenheim's major Tilke-facelift is reasonable enough based on the racing w've witnessed, but oh gosh, how I do miss the sight of 20+ cars rocketing with skinny wings down the mist-laden, wooded straights and braking en-mass into tight chicanes where the attendant gravel traps (as opposed to vast tarmac airport apron-style run-offs) waited like a spider web to snare and terminally punish any hint of driver indiscipline or error. Best, Ian

  • Comment number 7.

    Thanks for your reply Ian =)

  • Comment number 8.

    Cheers Ian. I am glad that you have mentioned gravel traps, because I hvae been sick of run off areas being replaced with tarmac. Yes Safety first, but drivers are not punished for mistakes. You might as well invite everyone to go off!

  • Comment number 9.

    Good stuff as always Ian.

    Let's hope this year's race is better than the previous 2.

    With just 4 overtakes in 2008 and a round zero last year, at least it can't get any worse.

    Can it?

    Overtaking data taken from here:

  • Comment number 10.

    Forgot to add, loving the addition of the videos.


  • Comment number 11.

    Thanks Highlander - thanks, as ever, for your feedback and I agree, it cannot (surely??) be any more tedious than 2008 especially, albeit 2009 was a tad better, not least given the interesting start (with Jenson forced wide) and the ensuing Rubens v Lewis competition for the win. Glad you find the video forecasts useful: working in collaboration with BBC Sport F1 Online, we intend to make these a regular feature. All the best, Ian

  • Comment number 12.

    Great news on the videos Ian.

    You should ensure they are prominently displayed on the relevant F1 pages; the live video pages for the practice, qualifying and race sessions would be a good start.

    I have a feeling your blog is a fairly well kept secret at the moment and is only known to those 606 members who read your articles on there.

    Also, I forgot to thank you for getting those missing circuit weather forecasts added so thanks for that.

  • Comment number 13.

    No worries - after your previous email I did check....BBC Weather had adding those venues on their 'to do' list and they were duly placed online. The site forecasts you then see are created using the Met Office's grid-based (lat-long) data modelling for that specific (circuit) venue, using their Global Forecast model (it's not available freely via the web, unlike the US GFS model that sustains pretty much every other 'free' weather website data). Essentially, the daily spot forecast graphic on our BBC site will represent the most significant weather element expected for the day.... not the hour-by-hour detail, which only appears as we get into range of the UKMO's more high-resolution model output.
    Re my blog: it has has primarily served as a more generic vehicle for weather forecasts and discussion (e.g., if you head to the primary url http:///www.bbc.co.uk/ianfergusson you will find the Glastonbury forecast is the lead item). I'll pass your comments onto my editorial colleagues at BBC Sport F1. Much appreciated - Ian

  • Comment number 14.

    Another good video forecast, enjoy the fact that it gives us a bit more detail. Just hope we do get a bit of light rain....or anything at all, just to make the race weekend (and the race itself) interesting. Keep up the good work though, always enjoying reading your updates!

  • Comment number 15.

    Me again....sorry.

    One final thing on the circuit weather forecasts.
    There is an embed code which is under the main forecast - e.g.
    Unfortunately this doesn't always work.
    The little embedded widget has a black bar at the top with BBC on it.
    Then a little graphic with a weather related theme such as sun, clouds, rain, etc. and the word WEATHER on it.
    Then the 3 day forecast is underneath.

    Unfortunately the litle graphic with the word WEATHER between the black BBC top bar and the forecast doesn't always appear.
    This usually (but not always) happens when viewing the embedded code when it is night time where the circuit is.

    I have communicated this several times using "Contact Us" but it would appear it is not being communicated to the correct department.
    I suspect that there are some missing graphics or problems with the code for certain images only.

    Apologies for this rather long and off topic post.

  • Comment number 16.

    Not at all off-topic and will of course feed this back to our web team! Cheers.

  • Comment number 17.

    Seems like the weather is going to be an uninteresting as the tyre situation and the race itself. Really need some rain this weekend, even though it won't happen.



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