Formula One Weather Forecast: German Grand Prix 2010
Hockenheim, 23-25 July 2010 (Round 11)
(This forecast will be regularly updated. This entry: Sunday 25 July, 11:00hrs BST)
- BBC Sport: Formula One
- BBC Weather: Hockenheim Forecast
- Rainfall Radar (via WeatherOnline, for Baden-Wuerttemberg)
- Rainfall Radar (regional; SW Germany, via DWD)
- Rainfall Radar (via MeteoGroup - also 'zoomable')
- Visible Satellite Loop (EUMETSAT/DWD via sat24.com)
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.
(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.
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.....