Fox News Weather Center

Storms may threaten Fourth of July activities in central, eastern US

Thunderstorms have the potential to impact Independence Day fireworks and outings in parts of the central and eastern United States, while dry weather will raise fire safety concerns in the West.

While storms are likely to be widely separated and generally limited to the afternoon and evening in the Southeast states, storms may cluster from parts of the southern Plains to a portion of the Midwest for the Fourth of July.

There is the potential for storms to become severe at the local level from parts of the lower Great Lakes to the Ohio and middle Mississippi valleys. Frequent lightning strikes, flash flooding and high winds would be the greatest risks to those outside or on the road.

Static July 4 Plain Language


It is possible a zone of steady rain may develop near and north of the main thunderstorm area in the central U.S.

The forward speed of this storm system is questionable but could be detrimental to outdoor activities from the middle of the nation to the mid-Atlantic states and New England, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.

"A fast-moving storm may allow clearing in the Midwest but a ruined holiday in the Northeast," Anderson said.

In the Southeast, odds favor that while a storm could crash an afternoon cookout or an evening fireworks display in some communities, most of the holiday should be free of rain in most of the area. Most downpours will avoid the Atlantic beaches until the evening.

In the West, very few spots are likely to have a shower.

Days with rain on July 4 2007 to 2016


There is a chance of a few pop-up storms over parts of New Mexico and western Texas. However, it appears that most of the Rockies, Wasatch, Sierra Nevada and Cascades will be free of rain. These high-elevation areas are notorious for storms during the afternoon and evening hours.

There will be an elevated risk of wildfires over much of the West due to dry, hot and sunny weather in recent weeks. People should use extreme caution with fireworks, campfires and barbecue grills.

In terms of high temperatures, excessive heat is likely to build over the interior Southwest, especially from Arizona to Texas and the southern Plains, with highs well into the 90s F to near 100 possible away from desert areas. As is often the case in July, desert areas will top 100 with some locations likely to top 110.

Typical hot and humid conditions are likely over the Southeast with highs in the upper 80s to lower 90s.

July 4 Average High Temperature from 2007 to 2016


Much of the Northeast can expect average warmth and humidity with highs mainly in the 80s.

Temperatures slightly lower than average are possible over the Upper Midwest and likely the Northwest. Highs in the upper 70s to lower 80s are possible around the Great Lakes. Highs will range from the upper 60s to lower 70s along the Northwest coast to the upper 70s to near 80 inland.