Fans and drivers at Formula 1’s Las Vegas Grand Prix, which debuts next week, might have to deal with rain.
Later in the week “we might have some rain,” says National Weather Service forecaster Jenn Varian from the agency’s Las Vegas office. “The trend is for a better chance of rain. It’s not a guarantee.”
Varian said the weather service would have a better idea of how much rain by Monday. The agency doesn’t post a forecast more than seven days out.
An incoming system will bring increased chances of above normal precipitation to the region late next week, including a 50-60% chance of above normal precipitation for the Las Vegas area. #NVwx #VegasWeather pic.twitter.com/e09LgWC3VZ
— NWS Las Vegas (@NWSVegas) November 8, 2023
However, a NWS post on X said, “An incoming system will bring increased chances of above normal precipitation to the region late next week, including a 50-60% chance of above normal precipitation for the Las Vegas area.”
Las Vegas normally sees a third of an inch of rain for November. But even a small storm could cause issues for fans and F1 drivers and teams.
About 100,000 seats are installed or in the final stages of installation for the three-day event. The race starts 10 p.m. Saturday.
The vast majority of seats are grandstand seats without overhead coverings. The upgraded suites do have overhead structures — and that might prove handy. Fans should come prepared with rain gear.
F1 cars: Two rain tires; spray an issue
Tires for F1 cars are designed for dry conditions, but cars do have two rain tires, writes Henry Hudson.
“As we’re reminded at every wet race, F1 has two rain tires: the green-walled intermediate for cool, damp tracks with tread designed to flex and generate more heat than slicks; then the full wet with deeper tread that disperses standing water much more effectively to give maximum contact between rubber and asphalt,” according to MotorSport.com.
The race starts here!🟢
The final #F1 cargo was unloaded today at LAS. The arrivals began Sunday with wide-body aircraft bringing #FormulaOne to Las Vegas. 🏎️📦🏁✈️ Check out the video here: pic.twitter.com/I03x17v16m
— Harry Reid International Airport (@LASairport) November 9, 2023
Spray from tires in wet track conditions has been an increasing problem for F1 drivers and crews as it decreases visibility, a major safety factor.
“And new 18-inch wheels brought in alongside the larger 2022 cars have naturally resulted in larger tires.
“F1 cars have always thrust water into the air, reducing visibility for following drivers, but the effect is multiplied with the current generation,” Hudson wrote.
Sometimes the end result is quicker red flags to delay or suspend racing.
Mother Nature always gets final say
But rain is totally up to Mother Nature, and she usually abundantly spreads sunny days and clear nights across Las Vegas.
In a city built on wagering, you can bet many spectators and F1 crews may be making viewing and competition decisions based at least in part on weather forecasts.
Contact Marvin Clemons at email@example.com.