Australian Grand Prix 26 March 2017

  • Fig1. Forecast cloud cover for 4pm local time on Sunday

    Fig 2. Forecast temperatures for 4pm local time on Sunday

    Fig 3. Forecast wind speed for 4pm local time on Sunday

    Fig 4. Synoptic situation for 10am local time on Sunday

    Fig 5. NOAA satellite image of Tropical Storm Debbie

  • Australian Grand Prix 26 March 2017
    25.03.2017 16:49

    The formula one season gets under way this weekend with the first grand prix taking place in Melbourne, Australia. Qualifying took place this morning under relatively calm conditions with largely cloudy skies and temperatures reaching up to 31C (88F), which is above the average for the time of year. In this article we take a look at the forecast for race day tomorrow and what conditions both the drivers and spectators are likely to expect.


    Taking a look at the weather for the race on Sunday, it looks likely to be a cloudy start to the day but it will brighten up to leave it calm and settled. There will be more in the way of sunshine than there was today. By taking a look at the cloud cover plot on the left hand side, there is only around 2-3 octa’s of cloud forecast. Winds will also be light with a wind speed of around 7-9mph for the start time of the race and only gusting up to 12mph. Temperatures look likely to be a touch down from today with a maximum of around 27C (81F), which is still above the average for the time of year (as shown in the figure on the land hand side). However, it is well under the maximum temperature ever on recorded, a scorching 41C (106F) back in March 1940. No doubt though that the warm sunny conditions on race day will be favour both the drivers and the spectators that are lucky even to go along.

    In contrast to the relatively benign conditions for Melbourne, further up the east coast of Australia the weather looks to turn increasingly stormy. That is due to the tropical storm just offshore Queensland has now been officially named as Debbie. See the image (taken from NOAA) of a rather clear satellite view of the eye of the storm at 11UTC. Tropical Cyclone Debbie is forecast to reach up to a category 4 tropical cyclone with 155mph wind gusts by Monday morning, just before it reaches the nearby coastline. As with most all cyclones, as they reach landfall they start to lose their momentum as they receive less of the warm, moist energy that they get from the surrounding oceans to carry on developing. However, where Debbie does make land fall there will be damage and disruption.

    Next stop on the F1 is Shanghai, China on the 9th April. The weather in April can be changeable but fairly mild month with maximum temperatures typical around 11-18C (52-64F). 

    By: Tom Whittaker