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For the second year in a row, rain and wind could lead to sloppy conditions for the Boston Marathon next Monday, Patriots' Day.
Hundreds of thousands of spectators will cheer on 30,000 runners along the course from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to downtown Boston.
During last year's marathon, over 1.50 inches of rain and chilly conditions led to a downright raw and miserable race with slower times than previous years. Many elite runners had to drop out due to the weather.
Those participating in this year's event should make sure they have waterproof gear at the ready, as there is the potential for similar conditions to unfold.
"As a storm moves toward the area next Monday, soggy conditions are in store for the Boston Marathon," said AccuWeather Meteorologist Ryan Adamson.
Depending on the exact speed of the storm, the rain could pester the area for much of the day, affecting all waves of runners. The water on painted surfaces, such as pedestrian and motor vehicle lines, can make for slippery conditions for the runners.
The rain could be heavy enough to cause ponding of water on the course, like what occurred in 2018.
Timing is everything. The storm looks to bring Beantown its worst between sunrise and noon. The first batch of marathon runners departs Hopkinton at 9:02 a.m., with the remaining participants setting off in waves through 11:15 a.m. A chilly rain is possible and, if downpours develop, a half to three-quarters of an inch of water could fall by early afternoon.
As the race is six days away, however, the specifics of this forecast could change.
The official forecast is calling for temperatures around 50 degrees, though it’s likely an easterly wind off the water — coupled with cold air draining down from the north — could knock Boston back into the low to mid-40s.
The atmosphere can be fickle this time of year in southern New England. On Monday, New York City warmed to 78, while Hartford — a mere 100 miles away — held steady at 43 degrees.
Past Boston Marathons have seen all sorts of wild weather. In 2017, Logan Airport peaked at a balmy 75 degrees — just a day after a record-setting 86 degrees. But in 2015, temperatures struggled to hit 50, and 0.61 inches of rain fell. And if you’re looking for variety, try 2014 — the race began in the 30s, flirting with 70 in the afternoon.
Eric Fisher is the chief meteorologist at WBZ-TV in Boston, and has run the marathon a number of times. He said the rain predicted to drench this year’s race could be dangerous to runners.
“Heavy rain like last year can be tough,” he said in a message. “There were quite a few cases of hypothermia on the course.”
If the rain clears out sooner though, that could be good news for runners. Most athletes would prefer a cooler day over the summerlike weather that’s baked the course in years past.
“After a winter of cold training, the ideal day for runners is mostly cloudy and somewhere close to 50 degrees,” Fisher said. “That’s actually a pretty standard day for Boston in mid-April.” The average high this time of year is around 56 or 57 degrees.(04/10/2019) ⚡AMP
The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world's best-known road racing events. The event attracts 500,000 spectators each year, making it New England's most widely viewed sporting event. Though starting with 18 participants in 1897, the event now attracts over 20,000 registered participants each year. You have to qualify to participate. Among...more...