July 4th weekend forecast: Pacific NW heat moves east, heavy rain for Gulf Coast, Elsa tracks toward Fla.

Fireworks over Lavallette Beach along the New Jersey Shore on the Fourth of July, 2019.

Fireworks over Lavallette Beach along the New Jersey Shore on the Fourth of July, 2019. (Image credit: istock)

What’s it looking like for the long Fourth of July weekend? Depending on where you’ll be, it’s likely to be hot and dry. Or warm and wet. Check our weather forecast and hazards map well before you head out to enjoy picnics, barbecues, beaches — or just your own backyard.  Here’s a quick summary of what to expect: 

Heatwave in the West is on the move

The dangerous and historic heat wave in the Pacific Northwest will be less intense than it has been over recent days, but triple-digit heat will continue across the interior Northwest and the Northern Rockies. Excessive heat is predicted to spread into the northern Plains through the holiday weekend and into early next week.  

Above-average temperatures are predicted in Southern California and parts of Nevada and Arizona, worsening the extreme drought already entrenched in the West. offsite link 

Multiple days of rain for many parts of the U.S. 

Heavy rain is forecast to linger along the Gulf Coast, from the Florida Panhandle to southern Texas and could trigger flash flooding and small stream flooding this weekend. Some rivers in this area are at elevated levels, and isolated minor river flooding is ongoing. 

Monsoonal thunderstorms with localized heavy rain will continue across the interior western states through the weekend. The storms could produce dry lightning and gusty winds, which could elevate the risk of fire weather, especially in the Southwest U.S.  

Cloudy, wet weather is forecast for across the Northeast to the Mid-Atlantic this weekend, including a potential for heavy rainfall and flash flooding. But … Sunday should deliver blue skies and cooler temperatures for portions of the East Coast just in time for Fourth’s festivities. 

Elsa could bring stormy conditions to Florida. Stay tuned.

As Elsa (a hurricane as of 7/2) moves northwestward in the coming days, there's a risk of storm surge, wind and rain for the Florida Keys and portions of the southern Florida Peninsula early next week. Check the National Hurricane Center for the latest forecast. 

Know before you go

We wish you a peaceful and relaxing Independence Day!