Archives for July 2010

Formula One Weather Forecast: Hungarian Grand Prix 2010

Ian Fergusson | 10:23 UK time, Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Hungaroring, 30 July - 01 August 2010 (Round 12)

(This forecast will be regularly updated. This entry: Sunday 1 August, 09:30hrs BST)

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Quick Links:

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Nowcast Updates: (NB - previous updates have been moved to the end of this blog)

SUN 09:25 BST: A glorious, cloudless morning in Budapest with strong sunshine across the circuit and the track temperatures will be a good deal higher than yesterday. The fine, rather hot weather will prevail through today, albeit with some fair-weather cumulus around into this afternoon and only a very small (<10%) chance of any of this developing further locally, to offer well-isolated showers. Indeed, the precipitation signal from the ensembles today is effectively just trace amounts at Budapest (1mm or so). The upper trough that offered the more widespread showery / thundery weather of Friday and Saturday has relaxed off eastwards, where deep convection is now primarily focused across the high ground of western Romania this morning.

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SAT 13:45 BST: The showers now forming in a developmental area SE of the circuit will not arrive until after qualifying - by which time they could be turning heavier and thundery.

SAT 11:55 BST: The steering upper flow at 750 / 500hPa is essentially NNW-N at present, hence directing the storms a smidge west of Budapest in the next hour or so. It's this sort of fairly small-scale margin of forecast uncertainty that can make all the difference when trying to broad-brush a 'showery' forecast some hours / days ahead! As noted below, had this thundery cluster and downpours been 30-40 miles east (and that's really nothing in meteorological terms of forecast error bar), qualifying would be all set for some major (weather) drama...potentially even to the extent of being undriveable. Oh well!

SAT 11:40 BST: I bet the teams (if not the fans) are breathing a sigh of relief that the thunderstorms are staying firmly on the west side of the Danube - had they been on the east side, with the same progress, spatial coverage and northerly track, it would have been a direct hit for qualifying!

SAT 11:20 BST: No threat expected for qualifying from the lively cluster of thundery cells continuing to ease NNW into southern/central Hungary - current trajectory of this feature ensures it will track slightly west of Budapest later. So, aside from any isolated shower potential from local convective development (as temperatures rise to release instability), it's a dry, fine and increasingly very warm story continuing today into qualifying.

SAT 09:44 BST: Fine conditions at the circuit for FP3 then; worth keeping an eye for later on the next cluster of heavy showers and thunderstorms just easing into south Hungary (now visible on radar).

SAT 09:00 BST: Hmmm. Some mid-level instability is rather noticeable in webcam shots above Budapest during the last 15 minutes. Will keep an eye on it....

SAT 08:30 BST: So, as forecast the rain was fairly extensive last night and pretty heavy in places, too. Thunderstorms rumbled not far south of the circuit until dawn; some high veils of cirrus this morning now the last visible evidence of them. The showers have now faded and sunshine prevails, with dry weather across northern Hungary. As noted in my forecasts earlier (see below), we can expect some extensive dry periods now, albeit with the chance of showers re-forming later. It's very possible these will appear post-qualifying however, so we can't rely on the weather gods to shake-up this particular grid! We shall see....

SAT 00:05 BST: The thundery rain forecast for tonight finally looms into view. In the next hour, some moderately heavy downpours will ease north across the circuit. Thundery elements are now widespread within the rainband, with a lot of recent lightning showing on the detection network (see link above). The latest UKMO NAE modelling continues the shower threat into the remainder of today, but - as noted all along - some prolonged drier intervals for many districts. So, the sessions could stay dry, but with showers building later PM.

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Forecast Summary:

(PPN = Precipitation)

Emphasis: Showers likely at times, but some prolonged dry and warm interludes dominating. Latest ensembles offer periodic wet weather arriving Friday (heaviest late PM); some spells of rain / showers Saturday - again mostly late PM; with Sunday largely dry & fine; a low chance of scattered showers developing PM. 

Friday: Mostly cloudy; some brighter / sunny spells at times through broken mid-level cloud. Outbreaks of rain / showers / thunderstorms edging slowly east; these likely to develop more widely eastwards in the afternoon / evening / overnight,  turning prolonged & heavy in places. Chance of PPN 70% (PM). Max 22C. Wind variable; light SSE / SSW later.

Saturday: Variable cloud cover with thundery spells of rain possible very early AM. Sunny spells then developing, albeit with some extensive high cloud at times and turning cloudier into the afternoon. Prolonged dry spells, potentially lasting for both track sessions. Showers forming through the afternoon and into the evening across Budapest area, some heavy. Chance of PPN 50%.  Max 25C. Wind light NNW.

Sunday: Widespread sunshine. Very warm. Dry, fine weather across northern Hungary; some limited convective cloud building locally through the afternoon to introduce a very low risk of well-scattered showers, but more so in eastern areas of Hungary. Dry race very likely. Chance of PPN 10%. Max 28C. Wind light WNW. 

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Synopsis & Forecast Evolution:

(With sincere thanks to Mike Trigger, Deputy Chief Forecaster, UK Met Office, for his expert input into my preparation of this latest forecast update)

Located in Mogyoród, some 11 miles (18km) northeast of Budapest, the Hungaroring circuit is set in a  semi-rural topographical 'bowl' and often prone to bone-dry, dusty conditions at this time of year. However, it might be anything but dry and dusty at times later during Friday and indeed Saturday too, as an occluding front - tied to an upper trough - swings eastwards across Hungary through the weekend, offering a strong likelihood of showers making an appearance at various times around Budapest.

There's growing inter-model agreement for the broad evolution on Friday, as the frontal system - sitting effectively quasi-stationary for much of the day through Austria, Croatia and western Hungary - slowly starts to edge a bit further east.

However, some small timing differences between the key models (ECMWF, UKMO-GM and US-GFS) are critical and account for some of the 'spot forecast' variation many of you might have read on different weather websites!

For most of Friday, the models do concur in keeping the very wettest conditions further west / SW beneath the upper trough, especially across the borderlands with Austria and down into Slovenia and Croatia.

FP1 should stay dry albeit one or two showers are possible even at that stage of the day under largely brighter conditions. But as more cloud spills eastwards into the afternoon, it offers a steadily increasing chance of seeing some showers at times, associated with waves of upper forcing running northwards through the frontal band. The rate of frontal progression (and it has tended to vary!) will be important here for the wet/dry fortunes of FP2.

Thereafter, we expect an increasing chance of some periodically wet (potentially very wet) weather arriving later into the afternoon, evening and overnight... it's possible some of the downpours will turn heavy and thundery, offering a strong possibility of the circuit returning to entirely 'green' conditions ahead of Saturday.

Saturday will see the upper trough and occluding front moving further east across Budapest. The day may start overcast with some early morning thundery rain; thereafter brighter spells developing and a dry window likely into FP3 and qualifying.

However, under sunny spells and aided by insolation, the clouds are likely to start building into the afternoon in the distinctly unstable conditions and later offer a likelihood of showers, potentially around the time of qualifying but more especially afterwards. 

By Sunday the models all agree on the upper trough relaxing further away to the east, albeit with some slight differences on exactly how far east it sits.

It's expected for the race to run in the sort of entirely dry and very warm conditions so often witnessed at this track, with strong sunshine. However, a few areas of convective cloud could bubble-up into the afternoon locally across some districts of Hungary, perhaps providing a (very low) chance of an isolated shower, but these are much more likely out further to the east. 

 

Previous Nowcast Updates...

FRI 12:30 BST: The next frontal wave running up out of Zagreb area (Croatia) into SW Hungary is turning very lively and producing some readily thundery embedded cells with prodigious lightning. It'll track NNE into Budapest later for this evening. Meantime, as the current 'old' wave dies quickly now, the circuit should escape dry for FP2, bar a few spots of rain... not totally clear-cut given a bit of re-activation at the extreme south of this current plume of rain.

FRI 12:20 BST: A fair bit more rain on the webcam now, so at least there's some reliable groundtruth for tallying to the recorded rainfall radar return...!

FRI 12:10 BST: I suspect the teams are going to just get lucky here! The rain progress is (a) very slow eastwards and (b) rapidly now losing upper forcing in any case. I expect it might offer a few spots of rain into the circuit later in the session, but probably nothing more. So a good chance for FP2 to run under overcast skies (so lower track temperature) but in dry or largely dry conditions... meanwhile, as this area of rain fades northwards this afternoon, the next pulse is visible to the SSW on radar, being fed up as another wave runs up the frontal zone northwards. IIt'll offer a further threat of heavy showers / rain later this evening and tonight across Budapest.

FRI 12:00 BST: Spots of rain again now on the webcam in central Budapest...extensive high-based stratocumulus and altocumulus stratiformis above....

FRI 11:45 BST: Well, it's going to be interesting for FP2. You might recall how in the forecast text (below) I'd suggested: "The rate of frontal progression (and it has tended to vary!) will be important here for the wet/dry fortunes of FP2." No need to change this viewpoint... currently, it's raining on the western edge of Budapest but the eastward creep of the frontal band is very, very slow. Equally, the forcing is being gradually relaxed aloft, so trending more towards light / moderate rain for now. The increasing cloud and grey skies now across Budapest (see webcam above) are testimony to the close proximity of rain... but it's seemingly falling largely from mid-level instability close to the capital itself.

FRI 09:45 BST: The frontal rain lies not far west now of Budapest (see radar link above), with much of the earlier forcing now fading as we see a relaxing of the waves which will periodically run from south to north up the feature during today. This ebb and flow of development was well signalled in the latest models. For now, more widespread sunny spells prevailing; a hint of some localised convective development but any threat of showers held at bay through this session. By FP2 the frontal zone will be closer.

FRI 08:10 BST: Some hints of brighter / sunnier spells as the mid-level (altocumulus / altostatus) cloud breaks at times. The main rain and shower threat continues to be held out west, as per expectations. A reasonable chance for dry running in FP1 then, but further showers developing not far SSW of Budapest... and thundery oubreaks now in the main frontal band out in the SW of the country, edging east.

FRI 07:30 BST: Further showers now reported at Budapest - these very evident on the lens of the weather webcam (see link above).

FRI 06:10 BST: Lastest official observations from Budapest/Lorinc, south of the circuit (0500 GMT), report showers; temperature 18C, dewpoint 15 C; wind light NW; 7/8 cloud cover.

FRI 03:45 BST: Model timing and evolution currently looks good. A dry dawn in Budapest but (as the radar and lightning links above amply testify!) a lively thunderstorm is rumbling just west of the capital, in a pre-frontal showery zone ahead of more extensive rain - some heavy - draped through the western half of the country. As per the forecast below, this will all slowly edge eastwards later today with waves of forcing tending to intensify areas of it at times.

Formula One Weather Forecast: German Grand Prix 2010

Ian Fergusson | 08:59 UK time, Monday, 19 July 2010

Hockenheim, 23-25 July 2010 (Round 11)

(This forecast will be regularly updated. This entry: Sunday 25 July, 11:00hrs BST)

Quick Links:

 

Nowcast / Forecast Updates:

SUN 10:50HRS BST: OK, one more update then! It's been a sunny morning in Hockenheim, but cloud is tending to increase from the west and we'll see varying degrees of convective infill (stratocumulus) during the afternoon with sunny spells, offering the small chance of light scattered showers as mentioned in previous forecasts. Indeed as you'll note these also in the BBC's graphical web forecast (link above), which is directly driven by the Met Office's Global Model output. However, there's no prospect of the sort of heavy showers seen during Friday and (in places) on Saturday, so the race will be a dry one... I very much doubt any light passing showers will dampen the circuit in any troublesome sense.

SAT 21:30HRS BST: A quick update - albeit just to say that there's little need to change the prognosis for tomorrow! The forecast has run pretty well so far since Wednesday (localised shower detail obviously aside), so the race is expected to run in the dry, as previously described here, with minimal shower threat. Unless there's a dramatic ( = weather!) reason to offer more updates tomorrow, I'll chat to you all again here in a week's time for Hungary!  Meantime, hope you enjoy our coverage tomorrow! Thanks for supporting this blog.

SAT 12:25HRS BST: Forecast continues to hold good - including the brighter spells post-FP3 - and local nuances in shower activity are now very apparent on radar. Heavy showers are forming regularly not far to the east, forced orographically by high ground. So far, showers above the circuit have been light and fleeting in the last hour with most of the developmental activity a little to the south, as well as east. 

SAT 09:55HRS BST: So, the next crop of showers duly arrives. Some of these could now turn heavier as the forcing starts to increase again. It'll be hit-miss in terms of wet spells from now to quali.

SAT 08:45HRS BST: Satellite imagery continues to hint at brighter / sunny spells developing with time (which will help dry things out considerably), albeit a cloudy story across the circuit at present. Some light to moderate showers elsewhere to the north, confirmed by latest crop of surface observations.

SAT 07:40HRS BST: Once again, Hockenheim has been deluged overnight with some heavy rain which has been clearing slowly southwards this morning. Further showers have followed behind, some of these rather heavy in places, so at the moment the forecast is very much as per expectations. The high-resolution models continue to offer a chance of some showers throughout this morning and into the early afternoon - around 5 - 10mm accumulation from now until 1200 GMT - with a steady reduction in % chance of rain as the day continues. It's be very much hit-or-miss fortunes at the circuit but at least the chance of dry running is pretty good. Satellite imagery also hints at a chance of brighter or sunny spells developing too, albeit these could help take temperatures slightly higher and provide sufficient extra 'oomph' to force some further shower development. FP3 will see residual wet track initially, but a dry line quickly established (if showers miss altogether - not guaranteed!). Qualifying has a fair chance of taking place in dry conditions, but with a few showers still possible. Effectively it's a radar watching day on the pitwalls as we see how the shower development / tracks phase with FP3 and quali.

Forecast Summary:

(PPN = Precipitation)

Emphasis: Wet running expected at times, Fri-Sat. Wettest conditions will be Thursday PM. Showers expected Friday, becoming frequent & heavier later; also further patchy spells of rain / showers on Saturday to give damp conditions especially AM. The race is expected to be dry or largely so with a small chance of afternoon showers. 

Friday: Variable cloud cover, with showers and spells of rain at times during the day, becoming more frequent, heavier and possibly thundery into the afternoon, evening and overnight. Chance of PPN 80%. Max 22C. Wind light WNW.

Saturday: Variable (and at times rather extensive) cloud cover, with showers and spells of rain feeding southwards through the early to mid morning; some showers possible thereafter into early afternoon. However, a gradual reduction in the wet weather % chance through the afternoon with some sunny spells developing. Chance of PPN 70%.  Max 23C. Wind light-moderate NW.

Sunday:  Variable cloud cover, with sunny spells and convective cloud increasing during the afternoon. Low chance of light afternoon showers, so on balance dry conditions are expected throughout the race. Chance of PPN 30%. Max 21C. Wind light W. 

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GermanGP-2001_APPhoto_Thoma.jpg

Remember this start at Hockenheim in 2001? Burti "does a Webber" in his Prost over the slow-starting Ferrari of Michael Schumacher.  The German veteran will be hoping for a strong Mercedes result in front of his adoring home crowd (AP Photo / Thomas Kienzle)

Synopsis & Forecast Evolution:

The German Grand Prix returns south to Hockenheim this year, where conditions have been sweltering lately and will turn so again into mid-week.

By Wednesday, temperatures will be peaking in the low to mid 30's C, before a cold front and shortwave troughs - associated with a thundery area of low pressure over Germany - moves eastwards during Thursday. A broadscale upper trough aloft edges east out of Holland and France, engaging some very high WBPT (Wet Bulb Potential Temperature) air.

This brings the potential for some very heavy (even torrential) downpours and thunderstorms developing across western / southern parts of Germany during Thursday afternoon and evening, as the hot, humid airmass is pushed away progressively to the southeast. I would not be at all surprised to see some major cloudbursts at Hockenheim - it's certainly got all the ingredients to be very wet as the pitlanes are made ready. However, at least the very worst of the weather we're expecting into the next few days will have passed through before the cars take to the track... but there's still every chance of some wet running.

There's now pretty good model agreement for Friday to see further showers - some heavy and perhaps thundery - although the latest ECMWF ensemble offers a fair spread of likely rainfall totals at Hockenheim all through the day with the heavier downpours appearing into the afternoon and evening. So, there should be windows of dry running. It's all about how the shower potential phases (or not) with FP1 and FP2; i.e., it's a radar watching scenario for the pitwalls - as will also prove the case on Saturday, too.

Of course, if Friday is wet for any prolonged periods, it'll prove bad news for those testing crucial new development parts - notably McLaren, who are aiming to further refine and introduce their blown diffuser for this race weekend. The teams will all be hoping for the current improving forecast to firm-up further.

Into Saturday, high pressure will start to extend and ridge eastwards from the Azores, slowly offering more benign and sunnier conditions across western Europe. However, with a vortex slipping south in the early morning and the upper trough looking slow to move east, conditions at Hockenheim remain unsettled and wet at times, especially during the first few hours of the day. GFS, ECMWF and MetO-GM / NAE are now all in good agreement for vorticity to remain aloft north-south; spells of rain or showers easing south during the early morning and despite tending to brighten-up and dry out, some showers are still possible into midday / early afternoon.

Sunday sees the ridge of high pressure continuing to become more firmly and more quickly established from the west. Forecast continuity is now improving, offering dry and hazily sunny conditions to prevail during the race window, but with some cumulus clouds building into the afternoon, offering a low % threat of light showers and temperatures in the low to mid 20's C and light winds. The latest UKMO-GM profiling suggests showers are a low probability and hence a dry race seems the most likely outcome.

Updates, as ever, to follow.....

 

 

Lightning: Your best 2010 photos & video sought for BBC Weather Week

Ian Fergusson | 12:53 UK time, Monday, 12 July 2010

UPDATE: 4 AUGUST 2010: In addition to the still photos mentioned below, please note that we're now accepting any video shot this year too. Please email us at west.weather@bbc.co.uk if you've any great video you'd like to submit for consideration!

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We're well into the season when thunderstorms are most prevalent across the West Country. It's been very quiet in our skies through spring and summer thus-far, but I'm expecting that to change this week...

A low pressure system moving up from the southwest during Wednesday has the potential to bring some thundery downpours across parts of the West Country - as well as some much-needed heavy rain for the parched landscape!

lightning-matt-gibson-bristol2008.jpgThe prospect of thunderstorms is also welcome and timely news for us here at the BBC.

We're busy making an half-hour programme for BBC ONE, due to be broadcast on a Sunday as part of the BBC's Weather Week in September 2010.

I'll be presenting our regional documentary - Wild Weather of the West - and I'm hoping for your collective input!

Here's the plan:

In the documentary and online, we're keen to show some of the best lightning photographs taken this year across the West Country.

And from some of the wonderful photos sent regularly to us at the BBC Bristol weatherdesk, we're clearly blessed with some very talented photographers across the region, but even if you've never photographed lightning before, why not (safely!) give it a try - if the opportunity arises? I'll certainly be trying my best here in South Gloucestershire, but the more cameras across the region this summer, the better the chances!

I've just been interviewing Matt Gibson for the programme. He's a very skilled amateur local photographer from Hotwells, Bristol - check out some of Matt's wide diversity of images on his Flickr site.

Although not a specialist thunderstorm chaser (unlike some of you who read the blog!), Matt has successfully shot lightning before such as the image above, taken in Clifton, Bristol. He has some very handy tips for all other budding Storm Snappers:

Overall

  • In rural areas you don't need to work so hard to get a good lightning picture
  • In towns, light pollution is problematic, but the reward of a cityscape with lightning across it makes trying very worthwhile.
  • Keep gear at the ready -- you never know when a storm will be along!

Tripod & Room Setup

  • Tripod essential; shutter speeds will be very slow (explained later), so hand-holding will lead to a blurry mess.
  • Doesn't need to be anything expensive. A small tabletop tripod will only set you back ten or fifteen pounds.
  • With the right window sill, you can improvise camera support -- bean bags, bags of rice, etc.
  • Keep your shooting room dark.

Camera

  • The more control you have, the better chance you have of getting a shot, so DSLR's give you by far the best bet.
  • However, even some lower-end compacts may have a scene mode (e.g. "Starry Sky") which allows longer exposures and might give you a chance.

Lens

  • Zoom lens the best bet. Standard kit lens from most digital SLRs will do fine. Start with a nice wide angle to cover lots of sky, so you stand a good chance of getting the lightning. You can always crop a bit later.

Focus

  • Manual focus.
  • Focus on sky, or on buildings if you're getting them in shot.
  • You can use auto-focus once if you can -- camera will have trouble finding focus on a dark sky -- and then switch to manual, once the camera's figured it out.

Exposure

Shutter Speed

  • Perfect photo will be a bright lightning strike against a dark background
  • Longer exposures get you the better chance of catching lightning. And I mean long -- 30 seconds isn't out of the question
  • Shooting in the country will be easier -- less light pollution. In city more tricky. Use a shorter exposure time.
  • The longer the exposure, though, the brighter and noisier the background.
  • Use "Bulb" mode, so you can control when the shutter opens and closes.
  • Open shutter, wait for a lightning strike, close the shutter
  • If the lightning's coming thick and fast, keep the shutter open for a few strikes -- all of them will be on a single photo, which will look impressive!

Aperture

  • Aperture will control the brightness of the lightning itself.
  • Very difficult to predict. Start fairly open, as lightning is likely to be distant, maybe f/4 or f/5
  • Adjust as necessary

ISO speed

  • Start at 100 and adjust upwards - e.g., if you're trying for a cityscape, but all you're getting is the lightning.....even if using fairly long exposures!

Safety Guidance

features_gr_lightninghouses_gallery.jpgI've filmed in many severe thunderstorms before and trust me, it can get pretty hairy if you're caught out in the open away from safe shelter - especially in the dark. So before attempting any photography, we do insist that you read the Health & Safety advice below.

Making safety your first priority:

  • No photograph is worth the risk of injury or death
  • Lightning strikes the ground in Britain about 300,000 times a year. For the photographer considering lightning photography, this is a risk that must be considered. Although there is no absolute protection from lightning, measures can be taken to reduce the risk of getting struck and the injury severity

Do not go outside to photograph lightning:

  • The safest place to be during a thunderstorm is inside a solid building - whether you're taking photographs or not
  • If you find yourself caught in a thunderstorm unexpectedly - get indoors as quickly as possible
  • Even when indoors stay away from plugged-in appliances (e.g. TV, computer, telephone), metal structures (e.g. window frames), and plumbing or tap water

Do not lean out of a door or window:

  • Remain inside until at least half an hour after the last thunder is heard
  • Taking photographs from indoors does not increase the risk of a lightning strike, but safety must remain your top priority, whether or not you are using a camera
  • Lightning can strike more than 10 miles from the centre of a storm, so even if it's not raining, and the storm appears to be distant, if you can hear thunder rumbling stay indoors until at least half an hour after the last thunder is heard

What to do if there is no shelter available:

Submitting Images

It's important you read this and the disclaimer to include in your accompanying email before sending photos to us.  

  • Take them in landscape format only (not portrait)
  • Try to keep the lightning centrally and don't zoom tightly. This is because we have to crop the top and bottom of the photo to make it widescreen format (16:9) for TV - so keep the shot wider!
  • Don't add false colours, gaudy effects etc., in photo manipulation software such as Photoshop. If a photo appears unduly tampered with or contrived, we simply won't use it.
  • Send us a high-resolution version please, because we will re-scale it at our end. Small, grainy and pixelated photos taken on a mobile 'phone are of no use!
  • E-mail your photo to us at west.weather@bbc.co.uk and include details of the photographer's full name, exactly when and where the shot was taken, and please give us written confirmation that the image is yours, with permission for the BBC to freely use it on TV and internet. 

Meantime, if any of our more experienced storm chasing readers wish to share advice, expertise or such-like with other enthusiasts, please do so in the comments section here on the blog. Thanks!

Happy shooting! Keep an eye on the forecasts and keep safe!

Formula One Weather Forecast: British Grand Prix 2010

Ian Fergusson | 19:24 UK time, Monday, 5 July 2010

Silverstone, 9-11 July 2010 (Round 10)

(This forecast will be regularly updated. This entry: Sunday 11 July, 09:00hrs BST)

Quick Links:

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Nowcast Updates:

Sunday, 0900BST: The forecast evolution from the Met Office has proven very accurate, with the weakening cold front easing across Silverstone between 7 and 8am this morning. Rainfall radar suggested some isolated areas of light showery rain in places around the circuit towards 7.45am. These, along with the frontal boundary cloud, have now passed SE and the skies continue to clear, with warm sunshine but a fresher feel compared to yesterday. Today's temperatures will be towards the mid-20's; it will now remain dry for the rest of the day and again somewhat breezy later.

Forecast Headlines:

(PPN = Precipitation)

Changes of Emphasis: None significant:

Friday: Early high cloud but turning sunny; chance of PPN <5%.  V. warm. Max 27C. Wind moderate SSW. Warm overnight.

Saturday: Sunny start, but with high and mid-level cloud continuing to spill gradually east through the day to make hazier sunshine. With more convective infill too, it'll be a cloudier story compared to Friday. Staying dry, with chance of PPN 5%.  V warm. Max 27C. Breezy at times. Wind SSW. Warm overnight.

Sunday: Band of cloudier weather easing SE through the early to mid-morning, with isolated patches of light rain possible. Sunny spells then developing progressively and continuing into the afternoon for the race, which should be dry and fine; turning cloudier again late afternoon. Chance of PPN 20%. Max 25C. Breezy at times. Wind light-moderate W. 

NB: Monday - for those leaving later - will turn wet across Silverstone through the morning.

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British-grandprix-mark-thom.jpg

The 2010 British Grand Prix will enjoy a good deal of very warm weather, albeit turning rather cloudy at times. Current expectations are for dry, sunny and warm conditions during qualifying and the race (Photo: Mark Thompson / Getty Images)

Synopsis and Forecast Emphasis:

Being back in the geographical 'comfort zone' for this home Grand Prix forecast doesn't necessarily make my job any easier, but at least I've got a suite of detailed UK Met Office predictive products at hand for this one... plus their ever-helpful Chief Forecaster at the end of a 'phone!

One dominant thrust of the forecast will see rising temperatures across southern and especially southeast / eastern-central England later this week. Friday and Saturday will see the highest temperatures; it'll certainly be a warm event throughout, with some strong sunshine on Friday and Saturday especially.

In broadscale terms, the British Isles sees something of a NW to SE split developing later this week, with areas further south and east across England remaining largely dry and warm; perhaps even hot in parts of the SE especially.

British-grandprix-fred-dufo.jpgBy the weekend, low pressure will be skirting up from the Atlantic to the NW of the British Isles and high pressure sitting across Denmark and Holland. The localised detail for Sunday, particularly in terms of shower potential, remains subject to flux but confidence in the broad thrust of the forecast is looking pretty good, with model continuity improving.

Friday will be dry, fine, very warm and humid for Free Practice 1 and 2, with strong sunshine developing and patchy fair-weather cloud.

It's a repeat story on Saturday for Free Practice 3 and Qualifying: a glorious morning, albeit with increasing amounts of high and mid-level cloud spreading slowly across Silverstone through the mid-afternoon. Moderately breezy at times; possibly a factor for qualifying, tending to unsettle the cars in various parts of the circuit.

Into the weekend, a trailing cold front will be draped SW-NE across the west of the British Isles. With a series of minor wave-like disturbances running up it, the front will tend to shift positioning, as will any attendant risk of showers or rain. It'll remain across W/NW areas of England during Saturday before slowly edging further SE during Sunday morning, bringing more cloud and offering a small chance a light shower across Silverstone around mid-morning. 

The slow, southeastwards creep of this trailing cold front has been consistently signalled in recent output from the UKMO Global Model. The latest (Sat. PM) detailed forecast assessment prepared by the Met Office's Chief Forecaster offers an essentially dry and fine story for Sunday, particularly the race window itself. Albeit an isolated light shower could develop around parts of Bucks and Northants through the first half of the day, as the fragmenting frontal boundary lingers close to Silverstone and temperatures rise, it is considered a low point probability. Once the front clear south, skies will then brighten-up by race start, to offer increasing amounts of dry and sunny weather into the early to mid afternoon.

It'll certainly prove another very warm day, but a tad cooler than the previous two, as the very warm air across eastern/SE England gets squeezed away back towards the near continent. It'll again prove rather breezy at times.

 

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