Fox News Weather Center

St. Patrick's Day: Rain may dampen festivities in NYC, Chicago and New Orleans

As millions make plans to celebrate St. Patrick's Day (March 17), snow, rain and thunderstorms threaten to put a damper on festivals, parades and block parties on Thursday.

Whether you are participating in a parade, enjoying an Irish festival or traveling to other festivities, know exactly when rain, snow or thunderstorms will impact St. Patrick's Day celebrations before you head out with AccuWeather MinuteCast®.

JUMP TO: Showers may dampen celebrations in the Northeast, Great Lakes| Snow may slow travel to festivities in Midwest, Rockies | Storms to ignite across the Deep South | Dry weather to greet party-goers across West Coast

Showers may dampen celebrations in the Northeast, Great Lakes

Wet weather could put a damper on celebrations across the Northeast and Great Lakes at times.

"While showers will dampen St. Patrick's Day across the Northeast and Great Lakes, it won't be an all-day rain event in most places," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brian Thompson said.

"There will be plenty of breaks in the showers, but sunshine will be limited by clouds," he added.

For any outdoor events, having a poncho, rain coat or umbrella handy will be beneficial in case of a sudden downpour.

Cities that may be affected by on-and-off showers include Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York City, Boston, Detroit, Cleveland and Chicago.

Enough cold air will be in place across northern New England and Michigan to produce snow or a rain/snow mix. Those traveling across these locations should allow extra time to reach celebrations as roads could be slippery.

High temperatures will range from the low to mid-60s F in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City, to the 40s and 50s in the Great Lakes and interior Northeast. The coldest air will be confined to northern New England.

Anyone heading out in the evening should bring a jacket as lows are expected to drop into the 40s along the coast to the 20s and 30s farther inland.

Snow may slow travel to festivities in Midwest, Rockies

A resurgence of wintry weather could slow travel to and from festivities across the Upper Midwest.

Although the heaviest snow will fall before Thursday, primarily during Wednesday, St. Patrick's Day party-goers may still have to contend with slick and snow-covered roads and sidewalks.

Snowfall could total a foot in some locations by Thursday morning, according to Thompson.

Cities that may be affected by snow or a mixture of rain and snow include Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Grand Forks, Bismarck and Fargo, North Dakota; and Pierre and Aberdeen, South Dakota.

Snow showers are also expected across the northern and central Rockies, where a new storm is expected to develop. However, the heaviest snow will likely hold off in Denver until Friday.

Highs across the region are forecast to reach the 30s and 40s mostly, with lows dipping down into the 20s.

Storms to ignite across the Deep South

Showers and thunderstorms are expected to erupt across parts of the Deep South on St. Patrick's Day.

"Spotty thunderstorms will develop along the Gulf Coast, with the best chance for storms running from Houston to New Orleans and eastward through the Florida Panhandle," Thompson said.

People outdoors should seek shelter as soon as thunder is heard. Anyone who hears thunder is within striking distance of lightning.

TIMELAPSE: Chicago River dyed green for St. Patrick's Day

While these storms are not expected to become severe, frequent lightning and sudden, heavy downpours are likely. Gusty winds could accompany the storms, threatening to disrupt any festival tents, parade floats or outdoor decorations.

Any prolonged downpours could also worsen flooding in areas that were hit hard by feet of rain last week. Even where additional rain does not fall, rivers remain in flooded stages across portions of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi.

Dry weather to greet party-goers across West Coast

St. Patrick's Day celebrations will not be disrupted by the weather across the West Coast as dry weather is expected to dominate.

Highs are forecast to climb into the 70s and 80s across California and the Southwest, with 50s and 60s in store for the Pacific Northwest.