Elephant Rock Race 2018 Forecast for Castle Rock and Palmer Divide

The “unofficial” kick of to cycling season will start this weekend in Castle Rock as cyclists can choose a variety of courses that vary in length and difficulty. Colorado’s weather is known to be quite changeable, but the good news this year is that the overall weather is excepted to be calm. The only thing folks may have to content with is an extreme in temperatures, mainly in the morning and possible in the afternoon for the longer routes.

Without further ado, here’s a breakdown of temperatures and conditions throughout the day(with estimated time-frames):

Pre-Race

Registration pickups and positioning at the start line starts at 5:00AM. Temperatures will be a bit chilly in the upper 40’s and low 50’s but the wind will make it feel like low to mid 40’s. Be prepared to have some warmer gear to start but you will probably end up shedding it very soon.

Castle Rock Forecast at 5AM
Temperature
Conditions
Low 50’s with pockets of upper 40’sMostly sunny
Winds 10-15mph out of the South
Apparent Temperate in the mid 40’s

Elephant Rock Weather | Castle Rock Weather | Palmer Divide Weather | Elephant Rock Forecast

 

Century (100 Mile Route) and Metric Century (62 Mile Route) Start

Not much change by the time the 2 longer routes get rolling. Expect mostly sunny to partly cloudy skies along with light winds and apparent temperature in the mid 50’s. Temperatures will begin to warm up at this time but should still be relatively comfortable if not a bit chilly.

Castle Rock Forecast between 6-8AM
Temperature
Conditions
Upper 50’s with pockets of low 60’s
Low 50’s and upper 40’s in higher elevation areas
to the South
Partly Cloudy
Winds 10-15mph out of the South
Apparent Temperate in the upper 40’s

Elephant Rock Weather | Castle Rock Weather | Palmer Divide Weather | Elephant Rock Forecast

 

40 Mile and 27 Mile Routes Start

Weather conditions will maintain through the start times of the next two routes, temperatures will be slightly warmer but still cool and sky’s will be mostly clear to partly cloudy. The only change is the wind is expected to pick up slightly as we progress through the morning.

Castle Rock Forecast between 8-9AM
Temperature
Conditions
Upper 50’s with pockets of low 60’s
50’s in higher elevation areas
to the South
Partly Cloudy
Winds 15-20mph out of the South
Apparent Temperate in the mid 50’s

Elephant Rock Weather | Castle Rock Weather | Palmer Divide Weather | Elephant Rock Forecast

 

Late Morning (Events in progress)

Temperatures will begin to transition warmer as the morning goes on and the biggest challenge we really see at this time is wind is expected to pick up. Expect sustained winds in the 15-20mph range with gusts into the 30mph range. This will become a bit of a challenge for riders on the longer routes still making their way South, but riders heading North will be happy with the tail-wind.

Castle Rock Forecast between 9AM-12PM
Temperature
Conditions
Upper 60’s with pockets of low 70’sPartly Cloudy
Winds 15-20mph out of the South
Gusting to 30mph

Elephant Rock Weather | Castle Rock Weather | Palmer Divide Weather | Elephant Rock Forecast

Sustained wind speeds for 11AM

Early Afternoon (Longer Routes in Progress)

Temperatures will reach their afternoon highs in the mid 70’s during this time. Winds out of the Southwest and South will help riders heading back with a nice push. Wind speeds overall will increase a bit but model guidance has them topping out in the 15-20mph range with gusts in the 30-35mph range. There is a small (20% chance) of a stray thunderstorm in the area during the afternoon.

Castle Rock Forecast between 12PM-3PM
Temperature
Conditions
Low to mid 70’sPartly to Mostly Cloudy
Winds 15-20mph out of the South
Gusting to 30-35mph
20% chance of thunderstorms
Elephant Rock Weather | Castle Rock Weather | Palmer Divide Weather | Elephant Rock Forecast

Sustained wind speeds for 1PM

Late Afternoon (Longer Routes Finish)

As the last few folks make it over the finish line we will see partly cloudy to mostly cloudy skies across the area. Surprisingly, winds are supposed to relax a tad later in the afternoon, the exception will be near any thunderstorms in the area as gusty outflow winds may make things tricky around those storms.

Castle Rock Forecast between 3PM-5PM
Temperature
Conditions
Low to mid 70’sMostly Cloudy
Winds 10-15mph out of the South
Gusting to 20-30mph
20% chance of thunderstorms
Elephant Rock Weather | Castle Rock Weather | Palmer Divide Weather | Elephant Rock Forecast

Sustained wind speeds for 3PM

Summary

Overall not too bad of a day weather wise, the heat won’t be oppressive, temperatures will be cooler and the only real challenge will be the wind. Honestly, if you time the longer routes right and are heading back by the time the winds pick up they may actually help more than hinder.

Other than that, please remember the sunscreen, while it won’t be super hot the UV index will be quite high so sunburn is possible within an hour or less… especially once the sun is up and cranking after 9-10am.

Thanks for reading, I’ll be at the race so if you see me say hi!

~John

 

John R. Braddock
Storm Chaser/ Amateur Meteorologist at Mountain Wave Weather
John R. Braddock is a NOAA/NWS Certified Storm Chaser and Amateur Meteorologist living in Castle Rock, Colorado. A graduate of Colorado State University with a Bachelor's in Computer Science and a Colorado native, he specializes in short range forecasting, severe weather and mountain weather dynamics.

2 comments

    • Gary on October 4, 2018 at 12:50 pm
    • Reply

    John, been following mwwx for years now. Enjoy your updates and detailed analysis. . One issue for front page news is the date of 3/10/18 occurring for weather when today’s date is 09/04/18. I imagine it’s a glitch somewhere. Info in pane to right is dated accurately.

    1. Hi Gary,
      Thank you for following along! Thank you for the bug report on the site… I’m trying to find out which area you are describing and I’m not seeing it. Can you describe it a bit more or send a screenshot?

      Thank you again, stay warm!
      ~John Braddock

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