- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Forecasters expect cloudy skies for Pope Francis’ weekend visit to Philadelphia, with rain possible during his outdoor Mass this Sunday.

The National Weather Service forecast a 30 percent chance of showers, beginning around 1 p.m. (Eastern time) Sunday, and possibly wind gusts of 20 to 30 mph. The Mass starts at 4 p.m. Sunday and hundreds of thousands of people are expected. Organizers recommend people bring ponchos or other rain gear.

About 40,000 people are ticketed for Francis’ Saturday speech on immigration and religious freedom at Independence Mall, and hundreds of thousands are expected at an outdoor festival and concert the pope also will attend that day.

Organizers say if showers turn to thunderstorms and lightning during the Mass and other outdoor events, the activities will be shut down.

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