The forecast reports are saying it could rain on Philadelphia Marathoners

While clouds are hanging over the weather forecast for Sunday’s annual Philadelphia Marathon, the outlook does have at least a few bright spots for participants in this weekend’s race events.

Temperatures are forecast to range from 40 to 44 during the Sunday morning race, not too far from the ideal for most runners, says Jeremy Close, a sports medicine specialist at Jefferson University Hospitals and a runner himself.

Wind should not be a factor for at least the first part of the race, which begins at 7, said Sarah Johnson, lead meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Mount Holly.

Saturday should start off dry and cold; temperatures will be around freezing at the time the half-marathon begins, at 7:25 a.m., but winds will be light. It should be brilliantly sunny throughout the half-marathon. The 8k race then begins at 10:40 a.m. and the kids’ fun run at noon. Clouds will build in the afternoon and rain is a near certainty Saturday night and early Sunday.

Friday’s forecast called for the likelihood that rain would linger into midmorning Sunday. Even if it stopped at 7, that could still be a pain for the runners milling about waiting for the race to get underway.

However, Johnson did offer a bright spot. Computer models often have a hard time nailing the duration of precipitation, and that has been evident in the last few days with the vacillating hourly forecasts.

“The timing has been jumping around a bit,” she said. Thus, the forecast is very much subject to change. AccuWeather Inc., the private service in State College, Pa., had the rain stopping at 7 a.m. and then picking up again at 9 a.m. But anyone who has tried to rely on those weather apps knows that the hourly predictions are prone to fallibility.

The rains would be generated by a coastal low that a month from now might look like a snow threat. Instead, it will be a rather ordinary cold November rain. Winds could pick up later in the race — maybe 5 to 15 mph with higher gusts, said Johnson — as the storm moves north.

And while Sunday morning might be chillier than the average spectator would like, it should be good for runners, Jefferson’s Close said.

posted Saturday November 23rd
by Anthony R. Wood