Rain in Melbourne

UPDATE Wet and chilly conditions greeted the paddock yesterday for the traditional pre-weekend media day, but the weather is set to steadily improve over the course of the next three days. Early morning showers today should be cleared in time for first practice in about 30 minutes, although a dry track is not certain, with all running from second practice later today right through to Sunday expected to be in dry, mostly sunny conditions.

Today, skies will remain cloudy for the majority of the day, with ambient temperatures reaching a high of 18°C. Tomorrow, the skies will clear to be only partly cloudy, with temperatures rising as a result to 20°C. With a negligible 10% chance of rain, a dry day's running is all but assured.

Looking ahead to Sunday, the weather is set to improve even further, with less cloud and higher temperatures. The ambient high is being predicted to be 22°C, with a definitively positive 0% chance of rain. While last year's rain lent itself to an eventful race, regulation changes and new tires should mean Sunday's dry race will be just as action-packed.

Today's action begins at 12.30 local time (01.30 GMT) with ninety minutes of first practice. A second ninety-minute session follows at 16.30 (05.30 GMT).

03/24/11 Storms have struck Melbourne on Thursday night and more rain threatens to hit the city and affect this weekend’s season-opening track action. Since joining the Formula 1 calendar in 1996, the venue has been subject to changeable conditions on a number of occasions.

Thursday nights’ heavy showers – which began with light afternoon rain – mean what was already a ‘green’ street circuit will now yield even less grip for the drivers when first free practice begins at 12:30pm local time on Friday (GMT +11).

Over the race weekend, temperatures are expected to fluctuate between 13 and 17°C (55-63°F) in the afternoon although, with the twilight race not beginning until 5pm local time (BST +10), ambient figures could then be lower.

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