Rain at the Daytona 500 doesn’t happen as often as you might think

Unusually wet weather expected for the 2021 Great American Race.

Drivers and crew members seek shelter under umbrellas as rain falls before the second of two qualifying NASCAR auto races for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux) (John Raoux, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Orlando, FLA. – With rain expected this race weekend, some might think “it always rains on the Daytona 500.” But is that truly the case?

Meteorologists …. start your number crunching

After some number crunching, I found out bad weather has only impacted “The Great American Race” three times in the last decade. I know, everyone is surprised by this stat.

According to the National Weather Service in Daytona, records show weather impacted the race only three times in the past decade.
  • 2011: February 20 -- Dry Race
  • 2012: February 27-28 -- Rescheduled due to rain
  • 2013: February 24 -- Dry Race
  • 2014: February 23 -- Rain Delays due to rain and tornado warning
  • 2015: February 22 -- Dry Race
  • 2016: February 21 -- Dry Race
  • 2017: February 26 -- Dry Race
  • 2018: February 18 -- Dry Race
  • 2019: February 17 -- Dry Race
  • 2020: February 16-17 -- Rescheduled due to rain

Expect possible rain delays this year

Unlike the average, this year we could see the infamous red flag fly during the race, due to a wet track.

The current weather setup shows an area of low pressure developing along a weakening cold front by this weekend. This will usher in unsettled weather with the chance for off and on rain both Saturday and Sunday.

Daytona 500 Forecast

The race is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, Sunday. The latest forecast over the track, calls for an 80% chance of rain and storms. The clouds and rain will keep temperatures, near normal, in the mid to low 70s. This weather could mean a few rounds of rain delays throughout the race.

About the Author:

Candace joined the News 6 team as the weekend morning meteorologist and reporter. She comes to Central Florida from Miami.