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The Ups and Downs of Formula 1 Weather

So far there have been eight races, four continents and numerous climate and time zones, and each time the Formula 1 meteorologists from UBIMET have been onsite. So the Formula 1 teams are always informed about the weather situation. At Silverstone it will be rainy this weekend, but Sunday will be dry.

Vienna, July 3, 2015: No matter what the weather outlook is, things are never quiet for the UBIMET team working onsite. After their journey to the circuit – which often involves a trip to the other side of the world – the meteorologists have to hit the ground the running: "We usually set up the weather radar on the Tuesday before the race weekend," explains Steffen Dietz, meteorologist at UBIMET. "Track sensors and the server follow on Wednesday, at the latest." All of the equipment then has to be tested on Thursday, as everything must be functioning optimally for the first practice on Friday. 

From Austria to the United Kingdom

Just a few days after the race at Spielberg, Austria, the UBIMET team travelled to Silverstone, Great Britain. Like most of the British Isles, Silverstone experiences a maritime climate, with conditions often influenced by weather systems moving in from the Atlantic. Extreme weather events are rare in the area around Silverstone, but not unheard of – a tornado in South Birmingham damaged several houses in July 2005.

What will the weather be like at the British Grand Prix?

In 2014 the race was dry – just after a few showers during the Qualifying on Saturday. But, rain returned right after the race. This is how the weather will be this year: "On Friday, mostly sunny, with only a few clouds and up to 28 degrees. Timing is everything - there is a chance of heavy showers and thunderstorms on Friday evening, but these will subside during the morning. We expect Saturday to stay dry, with temperatures up to 26 degrees. The race on Sunday will also be dry, with only slight cloud cover and a maximum of 21 to 22 degrees", says Dietz.

Formula 1 weather: What has happened so far?

After very humid conditions in Sepang, Malaysia and sandstorms in Sakhir, Bahrain, weather conditions were quieter in Barcelona, Monaco and Montreal : "In Barcelona it was pleasantly warm and dry. Conditions were a little cooler in Monaco, with some rain over the race weekend, but nothing that we were not expecting. In Montreal it was slightly warmer with almost no precipitation” says Dietz. “Things were a little trickier in Spielberg, and there were some interesting local effects at play – the global models indicated continuous rain over the circuit on Friday, but local ‘Foehn’ effects actually kept the track more or less dry, as we indicated in the forecast. There was some light rain just before the Qualifying on Saturday, but the track dried quite quickly. On Sunday there were showers in the vicinity, but there was no rain during the race.” 

Weather speaks many languages

"We always have to make some adjustments to our procedures and forecasting methods as we move to different climate zones", says Dietz. UBIMET meteorologists in Vienna and Melbourne – who have experience of weather phenomena all over the world – support the team onsite.

Actual weather forecasts for every race weekend can be found here: www.ubimet.com Forecasts are updated every Thursday before the race.