LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Beautiful hats, mint juleps, famous faces.
Garland of roses, trophies and the Winner’s Circle.
There are many things that one can expect to see at the Kentucky Derby, in addition to the horses, of course.

What tends to be the wildcard each May, however, is the weather.
This year is no different.

Since 1875, the Kentucky Derby has captivated America’s attention. After all, it is “America’s greatest race.” When it comes to the weather for the race, sometimes you just never know what to expect in May.

Historical Kentucky Derby Weather: https://www.weather.gov/lmk/historical_kentucky_derby_wx

There are unique challenges to forecasting a Kentucky Derby, much like forecasting a Super Bowl or a World Series. We are interested in giving a forecast that covers a specific point in time, namely Churchill Downs, “the world’s most legendary racetrack.” A general forecast for Louisville or Jefferson County, for example, would not suffice.

The challenges of forecasting a Kentucky Derby can relate to the number of days away from the event, as it must be area-specific and time-specific.

From NWS Louisville

“Out of the 144 Derby Days, 68 (47%) experienced rain at some point during the day” the National Weather Service (NWS) in Louisville confirmed.

If it rains, for example, 2 or 3 miles away from Churchill Downs at post time, then that would not affect the track or the race itself. Hence, the challenge of a “point in time” forecast.

Similarly, it can rain on Derby Day, hours before the race, and have minimal effect, if any, on the track when the race actually begins.

Historically, the Kentucky Derby has been as cold as the 30s at post time and has been as hot as the 90s.  
“Coldest temperature:  36° May 4, 1940 and May 4, 1957Warmest temperature:  94° May 2, 1959″From NWS Louisville.

That’s a 58-degree temperature swing in May in the two years between 1957 and 1959. Amazing.

“Wettest:  3.15” of rain May 5, 2018Frozen precipitation:  On May 6, 1989 sleet was observed from 1:01pm to 1:05pm.”From NWS Louisville. So what do we expect on Saturday?

Here is your FOX 56 Weather Authority forecast for the 2022 Kentucky Derby:

Expect a cool day on Saturday with plenty of clouds. A 30% chance of rain during the day, which should be gone by post time at 6:57 PM.

6:45 PM Saturday on the Futurecast
7 PM Saturday on the Futurecast

Derby Horses | 2022 Kentucky Derby & Oaks | May 6 and May 7, 2022: https://www.kentuckyderby.com/horses

On a lighter note, since weather can play a positive or negative role in any Kentucky Derby, your FOX 56 Weather Authority Team will be watching all of the horses, but especially the ones with weather names:

Charge It  (a Lightning reference, we suppose… not MasterCard or Visa.)
Summer Is Tomorrow

Hope everyone has a wonderful Kentucky Derby.

Follow The Weather Authority: