Where will Mother Nature set off thunderous booms on July Fourth?

Where will Mother Nature set off thunderous booms on July Fourth?


A record number of people are expected to travel 50 miles or more to their Independence Day destinations this year, and AccuWeather meteorologists have all the details on which parts of the country could experience the best and worst weather for holiday cookouts and firework displays.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) projects a new record to be set for July Fourth holiday travel, with 50.7 million Americans expected to hit the roadways or airports.

“This year’s projection surpasses the previous July 4th weekend record set in 2019 of 49 million travelers,” AAA said.

Where will disruptive thunderstorms erupt and lead to natural light displays? Which regions will experience their best fireworks weather in years? And who will swelter in the heat and humidity typical of the season? Read on for all these details and more.

Fireworks burst on the National Mall above the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol building during Independence Day celebrations in Washington, Monday, July 4, 2022. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

A slow-moving weather system that is expected to cause a daily eruption of severe thunderstorms into Monday will finally be on its way out of the United States on July Fourth.

Prior to its exit, AccuWeather forecasters say local downpours can impact holiday plans from portions of upstate New York to New England on Tuesday, but most of the stormy weather may stay away from the Interstate-95 corridor.

“After an active couple of days Sunday and Monday in terms of showers and thunderstorms, folks along the I-95 corridor should see improvement for the holiday on Tuesday,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Dean DeVore said.

“For both the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks over the East River in New York City, and on the Esplanade at the Charles River in Boston where the Boston Pops Fireworks and concert takes center stage, things are looking hot, but drier,” DeVore said.

Out of the two cities, Boston stands the highest risk of experiencing a stray shower or thunderstorm on the holiday.

Farther south in Washington, D.C., conditions will be dry but steamy for the spectacular fireworks display at the National Mall. Temperatures may still be in the lower 80s with high humidity levels by the time the show begins.

The intense temperatures that Texas and other portions of the South have experienced in recent days and weeks will diminish to more seasonable levels by the time the July Fourth holiday rolls around.

Although the risk of heat-related illnesses will lessen, anyone spending time outdoors will need to be wary of another weather-related hazard, forecasters warn.

AccuWeather meteorologists are highlighting the zone from portions of eastern Oklahoma and northeastern Texas to Georgia and North Carolina as the most likely area to experience pop-up showers and thunderstorms, including in Atlanta and Nashville.


“Forecasters strongly recommend that people on the road or spending time outdoors through the Fourth of July keep an eye on the sky and have the means to receive weather watches and warnings due to the potential for changing weather conditions,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski said.

Dangerous lightning strikes and downpours will be the primary hazards with any thunderstorm that pops up, but gusty winds and localized damage can also occur. Given the hit-or-miss nature of these storms, some communities can still wind up with a rain-free holiday.

As of the start of July, six people across the United States have been killed by lightning strikes.

The greatest threat for severe weather on July Fourth will focus on part of the central and northern Plains, where thunderstorms could produce damaging winds and large hail late in the day and at night.

Residents from Seattle to Portland and Medford, Oregon, will not have to worry about rain-dampening celebrations but rather should take precautions against intense heat. Temperatures are projected to challenge daily record highs along portions of I-5, ranging from near 90 degrees Fahrenheit in Seattle to the lower 100s in Medford.

Las Vegas is expected to mark its fifth consecutive day of triple-digit temperatures on Tuesday, following a record for the longest streak of days with the mercury staying below the 100-degree mark.

In California, intense heat over the weekend will ease slightly in time for the July Fourth holiday. For the Golden State and most other portions of the West, the weather story that will likely take center stage this year for the holiday is the lack of drought.

“Since the drought has vastly improved in much of the West since last year, many cities and towns may be able to hold fireworks shows for the first time in years,” Sosnowski said. “In recent summers, officials throughout drought-affected regions instituted bans on fireworks and canceled scheduled fireworks shows due to the risk of wildfire ignition.”

Want next-level safety, ad-free? Unlock advanced, hyperlocal severe weather alerts when you subscribe to Premium+ on the AccuWeather app. AccuWeather Alerts are prompted by our expert meteorologists who monitor and analyze dangerous weather risks 24/7 to keep you and your family safer.