RADAR: Scattered downpours could impact SpaceX Crew-1 launch Sunday

Launch scheduled for 7:27 p.m.

ORLANDO, Fla. – NASA and SpaceX will once again have to thread the needle for Sunday evening’s Crew-1 astronaut launch.

An approaching cold front will bring increasing clouds and the threat of scattered downpours to the Space Coast.

The 45th Weather Squadron downgraded the launch probability of Sunday’s launch from 60% go to 50%. The 45th Weather Squadron is highlighting the cumulus cloud rule, flight through precipitation and surface electric field rule as the primary concerns for a weather violation Sunday evening.

Launch concerns Sunday

Weather pushed back the initial launch scheduled for Saturday evening.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine confirmed the 24-hour delay Friday afternoon, saying it was because of weather at sea and onshore winds. Should there be a launch abort, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft would shuttle away for a splashdown in the Atlantic Ocean, carrying the astronaut crew to safety. There are certain weather criteria that must be met on land for the rocket to launch and at sea in the event of an abort.

Wave heights have lowered considerably in the booster recovery area off of the coast of Florida since Friday evening. Waves are still a little choppy further up the flight path.

Wave heights as of Sunday morning

There will be a few stray showers earlier in the day Sunday if you’re planning on getting a good spot for the scheduled launch. Temperatures will be around 80 degrees.

Launch Day Forecast

About the Author:

Jonathan Kegges joined the News 6 team in June 2019 as the Weekend Morning Meteorologist. Jonathan comes from Roanoke, Virginia where he covered three EF-3 tornadoes and deadly flooding brought on by Hurricanes Florence and Michael.