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LIVE COMMENTARY: 2008 CHINESE GRAND PRIX - CHINESE GRAND PRIX WEATHER
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Chinese Grand Prix Weather
By Emlyn Hughes
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
Mon 15:00 The Formula One circus is in transit following a highly eventful Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, travelling west from Tokyo to Shanghai for the 17th and penultimate round of the 2008 world championship - the Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix from the Shanghai International Circuit.


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While the events of Fuji understandably remain at the forefront of everyone's minds, the teams continue their work, arriving in Shanghai and unpacking the crates of equipment that were packed less than 36 hours before. So much has to be done logistically to ensure that the cars arrive safely at the airport and are transferred to the circuit, before being readied for scrutineering on Thursday

Away from the logistics, our sport exploded yesterday into another frenzy over driving standards, just at a time when the title chase is reaching boiling point. This weekend, the weather in China is set to warm up too, but possibly with a sting in the tail come raceday.

Throughout the week the weather is set fair with an abundance of warm, pleasant sunshine, no rain, and maximum temperatures that will remain constant at between 23 and 25 degrees Celsius. Confidence in the forecast for the next five days is high, with weather-forecast.com reflecting the call for settled weather over the next few days.

But, as we mentioned, just maybe there is a surprise in store for raceday. While temperatures are expected to remain on the warm side, cloud is forecast to build on Sunday, with a possibility of some light rain. Two separate weather forecasting models predict this change in conditions.

We must stress at this stage that confidence in the Sunday forecast from six days out is low, and more time is needed to establish exactly what the outcome will be. Some changes are expected throughout this week with reference to the Sunday forecast.

We will continue to monitor the forecasts and models closely throughout this week, and publish daily updates as the weather situation develops ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix weekend in Shanghai.

Tue 16:13 The possibility of raceday showers remains in the forecast, ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Eastern China is enjoying a period of dry and settled weather this week, as the Formula One teams continue setting up the garages ahead of the event, with temperatures in the mid-twenties Celsius range along with sunny periods and some patchy cloud.

Friday and Saturday are expected to continue the trend, with near-perfect conditions and a maximum temperature of 24 degrees.

The news on Tuesday is that light showers are possible on Sunday for the race, as a band of cloud and light rain is forecast to move in from the south and the East China Sea.

Any showers could of course be pivotal to the outcome of the world championship. On Wednesday we will publish a further update based on the latest model maps and forecasts.

Wed 17:20 Wednesday summary: No change to Sunday forecast.

With less than 36 hours to go until the action begins, forecasts continue to call for dry practice and qualifying sessions, followed by a damp Sunday as we approach the 2008 Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix weekend.

Twelve points separate three drivers with two rounds to go, and clearly any wet weather could have a significant impact on the destination of both the drivers' and constructors' championships.

For a couple of days, we have focused on model predictions showing showers and light rain on Sunday. These computer model forecasts are the benchmark for almost all mainstream five-day predictions, and these sites produce their forecast to suit.

Today, there is little change to the weather forecast for Sunday, with around four millimetres of light rain shown by weather-forecast.com, and weathercity.com who both use the GFS-based data that we reference against.

Rain is not uncommon at the Shanghai International Circuit. In 2006, showers swept across the city on raceday from west to east - the result of a weak weather system that came from central China. Just last year, the outlying showers ahead of Typhoon Krosa moved north-west from Taiwan, up the coastline giving us another memorable event.

This year, the predicted rainfall on Sunday is set to come from a gradual build-up of cloud in the East China Sea that slowly moves west towards the Chinese coast on race morning.

Do bear in mind that a change to the forecast could still occur, as this predicted area of rain does not cover an especially large area of land.

Join us again on Thursday as we bring you the latest on the raceday weather straight from the forecast models, and look ahead to the Friday action in Shanghai.

Shanghai paddock, ThursdayThu 12:10 Thursday at the Shanghai International Circuit was dry and bright, with the prospect of an interesting and exciting racing weekend matching the weather.

There were press conferences and media scrums galore as the Formula One media machine asked the burning question: Who is going to win the world championship?

Lewis talked about Felipe, Felipe talked about Lewis, Robert talked about his chances of having a car that could keep up with both of them, and Fernando had a word or two to say about all three contenders. Our news team have all the details of a busy day at the circuit.

The chance of rain was another subject of the discussions on Thursday, with Nico Rosberg saying, "Rain would always be good for us. It is raining now the past few years I think at this track and it is again possible for Sunday, so rain would be a good thing and maybe that would give us a chance to score some points."

Tomorrow, the race weekend will start in earnest with the usual pair of practice sessions, and the forecast for the first day's running is for dry and mainly bright conditions, with plenty of sunshine around and a maximum temperature reaching 26 degrees Celsius. During prolonged sunshine, the track surface temperature is expect to push up into the 35 degree range.

Saturday is currently tipped to be mainly sunny, although some forecasts are beginning to turn in the last 24 hours, predicting an outside chance of a shower around early afternoon.

For raceday, the latest news at the time of writing is that the light rain and showers we have monitored throughout this week have become less likely according to the latest run of the Global Forecast System (GFS) and other weather forecast models. We should mention that the models are being analysed by us for the circuit itself, rather than the distant Shanghai city centre as used by the mainstream forecasts.

The chance of light rain showers on Sunday has reduced as things stand at the moment, although the detail of the forecast will likely evolve further as the weather models crunch the numbers again and again over the coming days - their predictions continually shaped by weather station samples of the actual conditions.

Join us on Friday from 01:30 GMT here on autosport.com Live, as we present live text commentary and updates from the opening practice sessions in Shanghai.

Shanghai International Circuit, FridayFri 11:23 With the two dry Friday practice sessions now behind us, we move into a Saturday and Sunday where the forecasts have changed in detail repeatedly over the last 48 hours.

Tonight, cloud will build leading to an overcast but mainly dry night. Saturday morning is expected to dawn dry, and the morning practice session will take place again in dry conditions.

Opinion is split regarding what will happen next. Some sources indicate light rain for qualifying, whereas some are going for a drier forecast. Based on the latest forecast models published on Friday, we expect a dry qualifying session with a maximum temperature of 25 degrees Celsius.

Sunday should also dawn dry - but later, towards the end of the morning, light rain showers are possible as predictions revert back to a damp forecast for the race.

Come rain or shine, join us on Saturday from 02:30 GMT as we continue the story of the 2008 Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

Sunny Saturday in ShanghaiSat 12:00 Weather conditions could not have been better on Saturday at the Shanghai International Circuit. Bright and mainly sunny skies dominated the surroundings as the cars took part in the final practice and qualifying sessions.

Tonight and overnight into Sunday the dry theme will continue, with partial cloud cover and temperatures dipping to 20 degrees Celsius.

For many days the forecasts for race day have featured showers and damp conditions. Tomorrow morning is expected to dawn dry and fairly bright. However, cloud will build in the morning, coinciding with a rise in convective potential energy.

Convective energy is what typically produces thundery showers. A scenario develops where clouds build during the day, with a thundery shower in the afternoon or evening. This rise has been anticipated throughout most of this week, and has resulted in some mainstream weather sources publishing a forecast of scattered thunderstorms.

The map shown below represents the latest predictions for rain in the hours covering the race. Bear in mind that the total amount of rainfall that has been predicted all week is relatively low, compared for example with what we saw earlier this year at Monaco, Silverstone or Monza.

Rainfall Projection

The rainfall projection for the circuit itself tomorrow is low, at between one and two millimetres for the whole day. This effectively means the track is at risk of light showers in the lead up to - and during - the race. Although the intensity of rain is predicted to be very light, the track is expected to lie between two larger areas of rain and the heavier showers could move in at any time during the afternoon. Equally it is possible that the circuit could dodge the showers as they pass to the north and south. Either way, the situation will become clear in the morning when the progression of the rain can be tracked on radar.

When asked about the prospect of rain after qualifying this afternoon, Nico Rosberg said: "It is going to be difficult again tomorrow starting from 15th. It's not where I want to be, but tomorrow it should be raining, so that gives us a little bit of a chance to do something."

Temperatures will not be affected by the onset of cloud and possible showers, with a maximum of 26 degrees Celsius on the cards.

Tomorrow, we will all see if the predicted showers appear or not. Our coverage of the Chinese Grand Prix begins at 03:00 GMT. Join us as we find out if Lewis Hamilton can secure the world title in China, or if Felipe Massa can take the championship down to the wire in Brazil.

Sun 03:00 Our pre-race coverage is now underway. Join us for the latest weather updates, news and interviews as we build up to the Chinese Grand Prix:

Raceday in Shanghai

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  LIVE COVERAGE NAVIGATOR
Monday 13 Oct Start GMT
 Chinese Grand Prix Weather 15:00
Friday 17 Oct
 Friday Practice 01:30
Saturday 18 Oct
 Final Practice and Qualifying 02:30
Sunday 19 Oct
 Raceday in Shanghai 03:00
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Emlyn Hughes and Geoff Creighton are autosport.com's live commentary team. The dynamic duo have developed an inimitable style and a reputation for fast, accurate and insightful commentary. With unrivaled access to events unfolding at the circuit, they bring you the very latest, as it happens.

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