This year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) is fast approaching, but rain could also be on the way for the May 4 event at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.
As of 9 p.m. EDT on May 1, weather.com was calling for a 40% chance of showers Saturday, increasing to a 60% chance in the evening. The Kentucky Derby will be run at approximately 6:24 p.m. EDT.
The chance of periods of rain during Derby Day was increased to 70% as of Thursday, May 2, at 1:15 p.m. EDT, according to weather.com.
Highs are expected to be in the low 60s with lows in the low-50s.
Weather.com reports that a lumbering low-level pressure system combined with deep moisture channeling northward from the Gulf of Mexico creates a threat for repeated rounds of heavy rainfall Saturday across the nation's midsection. The front could move as far east as Louisville.
There is only a slight chance of rain, about 20% currently, for Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) Day, on Friday, May 3. Highs are expected to reach 77 with a low of 58.
Last year's Oaks card experienced fierce thunderstorms that forced the evacuation of the infield due to lightning strikes. The race went on as scheduled, however. The rain ended the following afternoon and the Kentucky Derby enjoyed warm temperatures and a fast track.
According to the National Weather Service, 46% of the prior 138 Run for the Roses experienced at least some rain during the day. The Derby was last contested over a sloppy track in 2010.