In just a few days, it will finally be time to fire up the grill, pour some cold drinks, and enjoy the Fourth of July with friends and family. Although Independence Day is always associated with having fun in the sun, many Americans are more eager than ever to celebrate as the pandemic squandered most plans in 2020. However, when it comes to outdoor activities, whether you're lounging at the lake or hanging out in the backyard, you need to pay attention to the weather; unfortunately, Mother Nature isn't aware that it's America's birthday. To ensure you're prepared for the upcoming weekend, here's the Fourth of July forecast for the entire country. (And don't forget, weather changes hour by hour, so be sure to check your local forecast, too.)
If you live in the northeastern part of the United States, you've probably been cranking the air conditioning to find relief from the multiple heatwaves going on in the past week. Fortunately, you'll find relief from the extreme heat, but it might mess with your plans. AccuWeather reports that there could be some spotty thunderstorms from New England to the mid-Atlantic states. "This could certainly disrupt some holiday weekend plans with rainfall, but hopefully Sunday will see enough improvement to get through most of the events for the day," says AccuWeather senior meteorologist Matt Rinde. Temperatures will likely drop a bit below 70°F and 80°F, the average for the area, which could make for a pleasant weekend if the storms pass.
The Midwest is often called flyover country, but it might just be the best place to be to celebrate the Fourth of July. AccuWeather reports that the majority of the region, from Denver up to Minneapolis, down to Kansas City, and to Chicago, will experience temperatures in the upper 80s to low 90s with sunny skies. The Farmers' Alamanac ($7, Amazon) simply puts it, "Mostly fair weather—it looks promising for Fourth of July fireworks!"
Sadly, in the South, you might have to reschedule your firework show. Domenica Davis, meteorologist for The Weather Channel reports that parts of the South, specifically along the Gulf of Mexico, will see scattered thunderstorms on Saturday and Sunday. However, Davis explains that it won't be "an all-day rain," and there's a chance the showers will dissipate by the time the sun sets.
Unfortunately, those in the western part of the country who have been grappling through a heat dome for the past couple of weeks will continue to see sweltering temps. The heat dome phenomenon occurs when the atmosphere traps hot ocean air around an area, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It has been so unbearably hot that a handful of states experienced record-breaking temperatures from June 15-20. In Phoenix, Arizona, the temperature rose to 118°F on June 17, and on the same day, in Death Valley, it was 128°F. That intense heat will continue into the weekend, as The National Weather Service notes that there will be highs into the 90s and 100s "for many locations" in the West. The scorching temperatures, and the drought affecting 93% of the region, have even forced some cities, including a handful in Utah, to ban fireworks because of the risk of fires, according to ABC 4.