Tomorrow's grand final parade will be cancelled if Melbourne's forecast bad weather is too inclement, AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou has admitted.
The league chief said he had a close eye on the weather with 100,000 people expected to see the Hawthorn and Sydney players parade through the city. Up to 20mm of rain is forecast to fall in Melbourne tomorrow.
"We'll all be watching the weather tonight," Demetriou said. "Obviously if it rains too heavily and there's hail, that makes it difficult for the parade to proceed. But all the players want to participate in the parade. We don't want to deny 100,000 people the opportunity to watch the parade through the streets of Melbourne."
Same conditions but different teams. Geelong's Tom Harley and St Kilda's Nick Riewoldt hold the premiership cup at the rainy 2009 Grand Final parade. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
The AFL later moved to dispel any fears amongst footy fans, confirming the parade would still go ahead even if rain was falling. "To be clear to fans the AFL Grand Final parade still goes ahead in rain. Arrangements for tomorrow's parade have not changed," the league's communications team tweeted.
Demetriou today met the members of Temper Trap, the Melbourne band which will provide part of the entertainment.
The weather bureau is predicting a mild 21 degrees for tomorrow’s parade but that will be reached early in the morning, with the temperature expected to drop throughout the day.
Fans could be reaching for their brollies at this year's Grand Final - like they were in 2009. Photo: Paul Rovere
"We are predicting a rainfall range between eight and 20 millimetres to fall between dawn Friday and Friday evening. There is a chance of thunderstorms from early morning to late afternoon," senior forecaster Gary Missen said.
"It will be very windy, especially during in the morning, with an average of 25-35 km winds blowing north to north westerly."
The temperature will continue to drop and, with the addition of hail, the grand final is set to be played in temperatures that will feel like single digits.
"We are predicting a maximum temperature of 14 degrees but it will feel much colder than that with a lot of cold air moving through," Mr Missen said.
"The temperature will feel more like single figures during the game it will be very cold, so rug up.
"At this stage we are forecasting hail to fall anytime during the game and even thunder. Rain is expected to be light with only three to six mils of rain expected to fall."
The wind will be strong blowing about 25 to 35 km/h for most of the day.
Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke said the wind would be the biggest influence on the match.
"The biggest single weather influence on the game will be the wind. It will penetrate even the tightest-knit jumpers and scarves and also blow some kicks off target," he said.
Mr Missen said the coldest grand final was the 1958 grand final between Collingwood and Melbourne where the temperature only reached 11.3 degrees.