Ultra and Miami Open fans will feel the wind (and possibly the rain)

Get ready for some potentially nasty pre-weekend wind and rain, Miami. Just hope the worst of it doesn’t extend into a weekend that’s jammed with big outdoor events — the Ultra Music Festival, the Miami Open tennis tournament, the Miami-Dade County Youth Fair and, for hordes of college students, spring break.

There’s an even chance of rain, and maybe some strong thunderstorms, rolling in from the north starting Thursday afternoon and sticking around overnight, the National Weather Service says. If it does come, the rain would probably dissipate around Friday afternoon, in time for Ultra’s 4 p.m. start.

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But the main issue well into the weekend might well be wind. As in steady, blowing wind, gusting to as high as 30 mph on Thursday, Friday and even into Saturday along the coast, which includes downtown Miami and Key Biscayne, though the wind intensity will be lower in West Miami-Dade for the Youth Fair.

By Sunday, winds will start dying down, but still remain at a healthy though more-seasonal 11 mph to 14 mph, with gusts to 18.

The good news: The sun will be out at times and temperatures will be mild enough for Goldilocks.

“The temperature looks nice: Not too cold, not too hot,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Hagen. “The weather is not going to be perfect. But once we get into the weekend, things are going to get a bit better.”

The advice for Ultra-goers: Pack a poncho or a windbreaker, but not an umbrella — those aren’t allowed.

But it has rained at Ultra before, and a little water doesn’t seem to ever dampen festival-goers’, uhm, enthusiasm.

“Two years ago on Friday it rained heavily,” said Ultra security boss Ray Martinez, a former Miami Beach police chief. “It was actually nice because it cooled everybody down. Some people left. The vast majority stayed and enjoyed the show.”

Thunderstorms and very high winds, though, could be another matter. The festival has a detailed severe-weather response plan developed in coordination with the Miami Fire Department, Martinez said. Each of the multiple stages, engineered to withstand severe weather and certified by Miami’s building department, has a wind vane. Speeds are monitored constantly once breezes rise beyond a certain point, he said.

If winds pick up beyond certain thresholds, crews will draw up the cloth curtains draped around venues and lower video screens. Only in case of severe wind or storms would a show be stopped, something that’s happened occasionally.

“Right now, the projected wind speeds don’t require any action from us. But that can change,” Martinez said. “Rain doesn’t really bother us. If it’s a blowing rain, we may have to shut down a stage for a time. If it’s just rain, the show goes on,” Martinez said.