July 4th Weather Forecast: Expect a Hot and Humid Weekend

Sausage. Apple pie. sweat stains;

After a month of sweltering heat that has engulfed much of the United States, the 4th of July weekend will bring “some typical summer weather,” in the words of Bob Oravik, the National Weather Service’s lead forecaster.

This is a symbol of heat and humidity, as is usually the case in most parts of the country at this time of year. Mr Oravec said rain could dampen some weekend activities, but at limited intervals.

He said temperatures in the central parts of the country would be above average, but nothing like the record heat that continued in the first three weeks of June.

Some widely scattered thunderstorms and torrential rain may reach the east coast and the Gulf states on Saturday, contributing to the plunder. Parts of the southwest, where the monsoon falls at this time of year, could be a “complete drift,” Oravec said.

In the West, fears of drought and wildfires have caused cities to cancel fireworks displays, even though temperatures will be cool in many places.

Here’s what you can expect this weekend:

It will become steamy. Most of the Northeast will have warm but pleasant weather on Friday, with increased humidity over the weekend, resulting in a somewhat sticky July 4th Monday.

Mr. Oravec said cities, including New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington, could see heavy rain Saturday afternoon into the evening, and then again on Sunday. Highs will range from the mid-’80s to the mid-’90s.

It will be hot. Not as hot as June, when heat records were set across the region, but temperatures are still high this time of year—about five to 10 degrees above average across the Central Plains and Great Lakes in the mid-Atlantic states.

This means highs in low temperatures into the mid-1990s in many places, with triple-digit temperatures possible throughout the Central and Southern Plains, said Kansas State meteorologist Kelly Butler.

“There will be a three-digit rally at 105 on Monday afternoon, so people should be aware of it,” Butler said. And while the wind can cool some parts of the area, it can feel like a “hot air dryer” to other parts.

Mr. Oravec said there will be scattered rain and thunderstorms across much of the area, from the Ohio Valley down to the south, as well as in parts of the southwest into the Rocky Mountains.

It’s going to be humid (notice a theme?), with sweltering heat off the coast and torrential rain near the Gulf of Mexico. Scattered slow-moving thunderstorms will spread across the Gulf Coast and Southeast to kick off the weekend.

Catherine Waltz, a meteorologist there, said the potential tropical cyclone that threatened to flood along the Texas coast earlier in the week was “now unrecognizable.” However, residents near the coast can expect rain on Friday and Saturday, with improvements on Sunday and Monday and temperatures rising above 90 degrees, which is the average for this time of year.

Despite the canceled fireworks, most of the West Coast will have below-average temperatures over the weekend.

The Bay Area and the Pacific Northwest will see temperatures in the 70s, and even some parts of Southern California will be unusually cold. Tyler Salas, a meteorologist there, said San Diego will have the coolest Independence Day of the past decade, with soaring temperatures reaching just 69 degrees.

But conditions are still dry. “This is the biggest 4th of July fire concern in recent years,” said Mr. Salas.

Hot and windy weather this summer has already helped prepare the West for fast-moving wildfires, including fires near Sacramento that forced hundreds of evacuations Thursday.

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