July 4th forecast: Storms in the Heartland, triple-digit heat in the West

What to expect for the long holiday weekend

UPDATED: July 5, 2024. Updated to reflect the latest information on Hurricane Beryl.
Independence Day fireworks over San Diego Bay.

Independence Day fireworks over San Diego Bay. (Image credit: Getty Images)

As you make final preparations for your Independence Day holiday, be sure to keep an eye on your local forecast. Read on to find out where temperatures will sizzle, and where storms could dominate Independence Day skies.

Heat surges into the East and remains in the West

The brief break from the heat in the Eastern U.S. is over. High temperatures are expected to be 5-10 degrees above average on Wednesday, July 3 in the Ohio River Valley and through the western Appalachians. Heat and humidity push back into New England through the deep South on Thursday, remaining through the holiday weekend. 

In California and portions of the Southwest, triple-digit temperatures are the dominant features throughout the  week. Closer to the Four Corners region, which saw some monsoonal moisture to start the week, our forecasters expect fewer storms and a return to seasonable temperatures as the holiday weekend progresses.

More rain in the Heartland

Rain could dampen Fourth of July cookouts through the nation’s midsection. The Ohio River Valley and the Northern Plains, in particular, are likely to see stormy skies on Thursday. Waterways in the Midwest, which have already overtopped their banks, are likely to receive even more water by the end of the week. Flood warnings remain in effect for parts of the Mississippi River and many of its tributaries in the region. 

Watching the tropics closely

Tropical activity picked up quickly in late June, and forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are closely monitoring Hurricane Beryl — the earliest Category 5 hurricane on record. Beryl was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane after making landfall on Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula on Friday, but the storm is expected to make another landfall at hurricane strength early next week, possibly in southern Texas on Monday. Beryl is forecast to bring several inches of rain to the Texas Gulf coast starting on Sunday. 

Rip currents could pose a danger

Everyone who plans to spend time at the beach should be aware of their local beach hazards and rip current forecasts. Remember to only swim at guarded beaches, and pay attention to posted signage about any water hazards. Get the latest statistics, videos and resources on rip currents and other water hazards in our new feature story.

Stay Weather-Ready this Fourth of July weekend!

Be sure to check out these important summer safety tips and resources before heading outside, and always remember — when thunder roars, go indoors. Follow these additional tips all year: