Thunderbirds Practice (copy)

The Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team fly over the Air Force Academy in May while practicing for the graduation ceremony.

As thousands of people flock to Falcon Stadium on Thursday for the Air Force Academy’s graduation ceremony, they face only a small chance of rain.

The stadium gates will open at 7:30 a.m. so visitors can arrive early, says the Academy’s online graduation schedule. Temperatures should hang in the 40s until 9 a.m. that day, said Michael Nosko, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Pueblo.

Click here for the National Weather Service's forecast in Colorado Springs

Although the Weather Service predicts a 30% chance of rain showers throughout Thursday, Nosko estimated Tuesday a 10% chance of rain that morning.

Air Force Academy graduation survival guide: Everything you need to know

By the start of the ceremony at 10:30 a.m., the chance of thunderstorms will rise to 30%. Nonetheless, no umbrellas of any size are permitted in the stadium, the academy's security office said.

Click here for the Air Force Academy's guest information

Wind speeds should be less than 10 mph in the morning, and the Thursday high is forecast at 62 degrees.

No severe weather is expected. But, said Nosko, “It’s too early to say for sure.”

The Air Force Thunderbirds will fly over the stadium about 1:30 p.m. as the ceremony ends. If thunderstorms do materialize, they might just get started in the afternoon, he said. Traffic leaving the stadium already will be crowded, and added rainstorms won’t make it any smoother.

Click here to stay updated on road conditions

Graduation attendees expecting a quick departure will need to pack a little patience. Guests are not allowed to leave the stadium until the Thunderbirds show ends.

Multimedia Journalist

Liz is a multimedia journalist with a specific interest in space exploration and environment. She watches way too much Star Trek and is working toward her rescue scuba divers certification. Liz joined the Gazette staff in 2019.

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