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Fourth of July forecast takes ugly turn

Yesterday, our forecasters were debating whether or not clouds would be a significant issue on the Fourth of July. Today, we have bigger problems to deal with. Forecast models have trended farther north with a surface low pressure system, which is expected to move from the Mid Atlantic States to a position southeast of Long island on Saturday. This low pressure system, associated with a mid level atmospheric disturbance, will promote the development of showers and areas of steady rain, which will progress through the area on Saturday.

Models, still, are wildly inconsistent with the areas of steadiest rain and more focused development of showery activity. What we do know, at this point, is that the surface low pressure system will promote widespread clouds from Friday Night into Saturday morning. We’ll put it to you this way: You won’t exactly wake up on Independence Day ready to run outside in shorts and fire up the grill. East winds and low clouds will keep things feeling much cooler, and showers will be meandering around the area as well.

GFS model showing a period of heavy rain Saturday afternoon.

GFS model showing a period of heavy rain Saturday afternoon.

By afternoon, an area of more focused rainfall may shift from southwest to northeast through the area. Beginning in the Mid Atlantic and eventually making its way through New Jersey, NYC, Long Island, and Connecticut, this area of steady rain could come from late morning through early afternoon, putting a bit of a damper on the day to say the least. Models, however, are not consistent with this feature. Some are less enthused, and keep the activity more showery without any steady rain. Others show a period of heavy rain during the afternoon.

What all models generally agree on, however, is that this area of steady rain will be shifting away from the area by late afternoon and early evening. It will be a bit of a race against the clock for the fireworks displays, which typically begin shortly after 9:00pm — although some do start earlier. Forecast models all show decreasing cloud cover after the area of steady rain during the afternoon, so barring any significant changes it looks like the firework displays will go on, although they may be slightly delayed. The biggest issue will be the fact that — if the wetter forecast models are correct — the ground will be wet.

We encourage you to stay tuned tonight and on independence Day for continued updates and information. The forecast is always evolving, and on a day like July 4th where plans are so weather-dependent, we’ll do our best to keep you updated to the minute so that you can make any necessary adjustments. For now, enjoy the beautiful weather today!