Graduation weekend weather

SOUTH BEND, IN - Over the course of the semester, for graduating seniors, their eyes have been on the prize- graduation.  However, this weekend, with both St. Mary's College and Notre Dame's graduation ceremonies outdoors, many are keeping their eyes to the skies.  Be sure to check back to this article for the latest updates leading up to the graduation ceremony and check out the ABC 57 First Warning Neighborhood Weather Forecast page here.

Wednesday, 6:45 PM: Here's the set-up.  A stationary front advances northward from the southern plains, bringing moisture from the gulf.  Rain begins on Friday in the form of intermittent showers.  Saturday remains scattered with showers tapering off by nighttime.  Many have their eyes set on the forecast for Sunday morning for the commencement ceremony and conferring of bachelor and honorary degrees at Notre Dame Stadium.  It's not going to be a washout, but passing showers could interrupt the event.  As always, with days ahead of the ceremony, the forecast could change & timing can become more accurate.  Even though rain chances remain up in the air, at least temperatures will remain steady with highs nearing 80° and overnight lows remaining on the mild side in the low to mid 60's.  See Fig. 1 for the complete weekend forecast.

Thursday, 6:45 PM:  Rain returns tonight and continues into Friday morning.  Rain chances Friday drop as we head into the afternoon hours.  Temperatures continue to warm-up into the mid to upper 70's for highs by Friday afternoon under mostly cloudy skies.  For Saturday and Sunday, scattered showers and thunderstorms are still in the forecast.  As for the latest timing on these, especially for the outdoor ceremony on Sunday morning for undergrads at Notre Dame Stadium (Fig. 4), it looks like the rain holds off until we move into 10 AM.  We will have another update tomorrow evening so stay tuned.

Friday, 6:45 PM: Rain showers move in late tonight.  Rain chances remain scattered through 9 AM Saturday morning.  By 11 AM, when St. Mary's College is gathering for their graduation procession, which officially kicks off at noon, rain chances remain low, but it will be muggy under mostly cloudy skies (Fig. 3).  Fortunately, it looks like the rain & thunderstorms hold off for the ceremony and start up again later in the afternoon by 3 PM.  Scattered thunderstorms remain across the area through the evening.  

As for Sunday morning for Notre Dame's commencement at Notre Dame Stadium, temperatures start out in the upper 60's under mostly cloudy skies.  Thankfully, rain and thunderstorms hold off until the afternoon and evening hours, so if you have plans on taking graduation pictures, it's best to take those in the morning unless you want to dodge the showers in the afternoon.

Saturday, 9:15 PM: With the latest forecast update, the Notre Dame commencement ceremony will remain dry and muggy under mostly cloudy skies.  Temperatures start out in the upper 60's by 8 AM when guests and graduates will start to arrive at the stadium.  Temperatures will continue to rise through the ceremony, back into the low to mid 70's (Fig. 5).  With a chance for peeks of sunshine into the afternoon hours, this could increase the chances for some stronger storms later in the evening.  With each forecast run over the course of the last 24 hours, the timing of these storms have been pushed further back with the latest model run aiming between 8 PM & 10 PM.  This is why Threat Tracker remains on the moderate side since there is a chance for stronger thunderstorms embedded with this line of storms that moves in late Sunday night.  As always, you can stay up to date with the latest forecast at the ABC 57 First Warning Neighborhood Weather page or download the ABC 57 First Warning Neighborhood Weather app.     

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