The Fourth of July is right around the corner. We have your forecast for Wednesday, including how viewing conditions may be for your fireworks displays as well as whether or not you may have to deal with some of nature’s own fireworks: thunderstorms.
The mixture of heat, humidity, and instability will allow for convection to occur across parts of the region. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected to form, especially in the afternoon, from the south Great Lakes through the eastern Ohio River Valley, and into the Tri-State area of New York City. These storms will hold temperatures down into the 80s across most areas, while some towns top off into the low 90s. Given the diurnal nature of these storms, most of the activity will diminish by sunset thanks to the loss of daytime heating. A spotty storm will still be possible across interior parts of the Northeast during the fireworks, however. Otherwise, high clouds will be around, mainly over the eastern Ohio River Valley, after sunset.
Across the rest of the region, it will be hot and dry thanks to high pressure overhead. High temperatures will generally be in the upper 80s to mid 90s under mostly sunny skies, making for hazy, hot, and humid weather conditions. That includes the southern Mid-Atlantic region and much of New England.
Parts of the Midwest will also be stormy as a low pressure system riding through southern Canada ushers in a round of strong to severe thunderstorms across the Upper Midwest, especially in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. To the south, a few showers and storms will be possible from Iowa through the Great Lakes, while the rest of the region can expect dry and partly cloudy skies. High temperatures will range from the mid to upper 80s in the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes, and up to the 90s in the Lower Midwest and Ohio River Valley.
An incoming disturbance from the southwest Atlantic Ocean will enhance convection across parts of the Southeast and Gulf Coast on Wednesday. While some towns will be at risk for the typical hit or miss showers and storms, a scattered to perhaps widespread area of thunderstorms will affect Florida and the Southeast coast, including eastern Georgia and the Carolinas. This added cloud cover along with the rain-cooled air from the rain will allow for seasonable temperatures of up to 8 degrees below-average. It is the Southeast, however, so it will still be hot, with highs ranging from the mid 80s to the mid 90s. Heat indices will exceed 100 degrees in some areas.
Most of the Plains will be dry with mostly sunny or partly cloudy skies. There will be the chance for isolated showers and thunderstorms, mainly in the afternoon, across the western Central Plains, especially on the leeward side of the Colorado Rockies. A line of strong to severe thunderstorms will also form beginning in the evening ahead of a cold front, spanning from Nebraska through Iowa and into Minnesota. Damaging winds and large hail will be the main risk. The most widespread of activity will be in southeastern Texas as heavy, scattered storms affect the region. Localized flooding will be possible. High temperatures on Wednesday will range from the 80s in the Dakotas up to the 90s and 100s in the Central and Southern Plains, so it will be a scorcher to watch the fireworks in the evening. Due to the rain in southeastern Texas, highs will hold down into the mid 80s.
Nice and dry across the Southwest except for a couple spotty showers and storms in Colorado and New Mexico. High pressure overhead will deliver abundant sunshine as well as gusty winds in the higher elevations. Temperatures will be variable and will be based on evolution. Along the immediate West Coast, morning low clouds and fog will hold temperatures down into the 60s and 70s. Farther inland, it will be in the 70s and 80s for cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. Once you get into the valleys, temperatures will soar into the 90s and near 100 degrees. It’s not until you get into the desert region where widespread highs in the 100s will be likely. A southwesterly wind originating from the Gulf of California may prevent Phoenix from hitting 100 degrees, however. If they don’t hit the century mark, then that would break the daily record low maximum temperature.
The final sector of the country, the Northwest, will feature quiet weather similar to the Southwest. This is the dry time of the year and the entire region can expect a dry Fourth of July as sunshine shines overhead with occasional high clouds. The most persistent of these clouds will be in Washington thanks to an onshore flow. That westerly wind will also be responsible for above-average temperatures across western Washington and Oregon while below average temperatures takeover elsewhere. Highs will generally be in the 70s and 80s unless you’re at the immediate coast where it will be in the 60s or in the mountains where high temperatures may be as low as near-freezing.
We hope you have a great 4th of July and that the weather cooperates for any of your outdoor events planned!