Fox News Weather Center

2016 Kentucky Derby: Sunshine, above-normal warmth on tap for the 'most exciting two minutes in sports'

Plenty of warmth and sunshine will be in the forecast this Saturday as the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby takes place at famed Churchill Downs in Louisville this Saturday.

While Saturday will be warm, it will not be humid, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Evan Duffey.

Highs are predicted to be in the mid-80s F; a normal high temperature for May 7 in Louisville is 75.

Later on Saturday, a front will be moving towards the region from the northwest and it could bring a shower or thunderstorm to the area. However, the rain will likely not not arrive until after the race, Duffey said.

The field for this year's Derby consists of 20-plus thoroughbreds, and they will burst through the starting gates at 6:34 p.m. EDT.

If showers avoid the area, this would be third consecutive year that the annual "Run for the Roses" will take place on a dry, fast racetrack.

According to the National Weather Service in Louisville, out of 141 Derby days, 65 of them have experienced rain at some point during the day.

The Derby will be preceded by another staple of horse racing, the Kentucky Oaks, a race for three-year-old fillies that will begin at 5:49 p.m. EDT on Friday. Favorable weather is expected for the event with temperatures in the mid-70s during the day before settling in the 60s for the evening.

"I'd say Friday [will be] almost a perfect spring evening," Duffey said.

A record crowd of 170,513 showed up to watch American Pharoah win the 2015 Derby while experiencing partly sunny skies and temperatures in the upper 70s.

The highest temperature ever recorded on the day of the Derby was 94 on May 2, 1959.

In addition to the customary tradition of wearing an assortment of stylish hats, fans should certainly bring sunglasses, apply plenty of sunblock and stay hydrated with non-alcoholic beverages if they plan on attending any pre-race festivities.

Playlist used for trending content.


Have questions, comments, or a story to share? Email Kevin Byrne at Kevin.Byrne@accuweather.com, follow him on Twitter at @Accu_Kevin. Follow us @breakingweather, or on Facebook.