What, Where, When, and Weather For Fourth Of July Weekend Festivities


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Hurricane Arthur has caused postponement of fireworks displays in the northeast. It should clear the area by Saturday. Courtesy of NOAA

Hurricane Arthur has caused postponement of fireworks displays in the northeast. It should clear the area by Saturday. Courtesy of NOAA

Severe Weather Outbreak Elephant and Hurricane Arthur will alter some weekend plans in the northeast US, but elsewhere weather appears cooperative for fireworks and other outdoor activities over the Fourth of July weekend.

Even the northeast should be clear for Saturday and Sunday.

Severe Weather Outbreak Elephant Left His Mark

The latest slow-moving severe weather outbreak known as Elephant has reached the east coast of the United States this morning, and will clear the coast by Saturday.

Elephant caused tornadoes in many states, flooding in the midwest, large hail, and a derecho. The low pressure system in the jet stream that was associated with Elephant has weakened, and the remnants of the system will produce a few thunderstorms today before departing for good.

In the wake of Elephant, a cool (for the season) high pressure area has settled over much of the eastern United States, even deep into Dixie, and will bring a fine weekend everywhere, except where the tail of Elephant intersects the path of Hurricane Arthur.

Hurricane Arthur

The first named storm of the Atlantic Hurricane season formed in the warm coastal waters off Florida on Tuesday, and simmered a while before moving north and then northeast, strengthening as it went. The conditions that are favorable for tropical storm intensification existed along Hurricane Arthur’s path: warm coastal and Gulf Stream water; little vertical wind shear (change of wind with height). Arthur became a hurricane early Thursday, and is now situated off the coast of Virginia with top winds of 100 miles per hour.

Arthur whacked eastern North Carolina, but not with any weather to which the area is not accustomed. Preparations kept damage to a minimum, and loss of life, as they would say at the World Cup, to nil. The center of Arthur passed just west of Hatteras, exposing the far Outer Banks to Arthur’s maximum winds which were on the east side of the storm. As Arthur moves northeast today, it will travel farther offshore and the direct effect on the coastline will be minimal except on Cape Cod, where a tropical storm warning is in effect.

The forecast for Saturday evening. Nice weather over most of the US. Courtesy of NOAA

The forecast for Saturday evening. Nice weather over most of the US. Courtesy of NOAA

Rip Currents

Though the wind may not be stronger than a few gusts to 30 miles per hour along the northeast coast, rip currents could provide dangerous swimming and boating conditions. Obey all beach closures and rip current warnings. The dangerous currents will persist for today and possibly tomorrow as the ocean needs time to settle down from Arthur’s impact.

Weather Outside The Northeast For The Weekend

The west continues dry, the soggy midwest will dry out, and the mountains and extreme south will have seasonal thunderstorm activity. All in all, once Elephant and Arthur have departed, not much to complain about.

What To Do On The Long Weekend

Fourth of July revelers should have no trouble finding satisfying entertainment this weekend. Fireworks are  ubiquitous Friday night (some cities in the northeast have rescheduled for Saturday), baseball is in full swing, there are music and food festivals, and a couple of  sporting events approach their climaxes in the UK and Brazil. Here are some of Decoded Science’s picks for weekend watching or doing.

Wimbledon Tennis Tournament, London

The singles finals of the Wimbledon Tennis Championship will be played on Saturday (ladies) and Sunday (gentlemen). There is a threat of a passing shower, not uncommon for London in the summer, but the matches should be played without interruption.

World Cup, Brazil, Friday and Saturday

Temperatures in Brazil for the World Cup have been a little warmer than the players would have liked, and it rained some. But overall the games were played without interruption in decent conditions. Most of Brazil is still covered by benign high pressure, with warm temperatures and spotty showers. The Friday and Saturday quarter-finals matches will be played in good conditions.

Major League Baseball Picks of the Week

Toronto Blue Jays at Oakland A’s, Saturday, 7:05 p.m. local time: Mark Buehrle, 10-5, pitches for Toronto and Scott Kazmir, 9-3, goes for Oakland in this battle of division leaders. Both pitchers have earned run averages below 2.65, so this could be a pitcher’s duel. Weather: clear and cool at game time.

Chicago Cubs at Washington Nationals, Sunday, 1:35 p.m. local time: Cubs phenom Jake Arrieta has a 5-1 record with a 1.81 ERA. He has taken no-hitters into the 7th inning his last two starts. At 28, sporting mediocre stats with three teams, Arrieta has suddenly blossomed into a star; he has become an instant fan and media favorite. The Nationals counter with their best starter, Jordan Zimmerman. Weather: Fans at an afternoon game in Washington in July get a break, as the temperature will be below normal in the wake of a cold front.

A Sampling Of Weekend Festivals

Shadow Valley Gospel Music Festival, Fayetteville, TN, Friday and Saturday. Imbibe with music rooted in the Bible. Weather: cool for the season, which means temperature in the 80s — and no rain.

Biggest Little Music Festival: Redux, Reno, NV, Saturday, Wingfield Park. Showcases musicians with disabilities.

29th Annual Our Lady of the Gulf Crab Fest, Bay St. Louis, MS, Friday and Saturday. Biscuits, blues, burgers, and boiled crabs. Y’all come down. Weather: seasonably warm with thunder possible both days.

Kutztown Folk Festival, Kutztown PA, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Mennonite music and much more in the Pennsylvania midlands. Weather: perfect.

Far Out Festival Of the Week

Dancefloat 2014, Rotterdam, Netherlands, Saturday: An electronic dance festival featuring 63 dj’s. Dance offshore on five floating dance barges or onshore in four massive areas. If Netherlands beats Costa Rica in the World Cup (the game should end about midnight local time), the place will really go wild. Weather: unseasonably warm with a shower possible. Evening temperatures in the 70s, falling to the 60s by the wee hours.

Have A Safe Fourth

Decoded Science wishes everyone a joyful Independence Day Weekend, whatever you decide to do. We urge everyone to take sensible precautions, whether handling a grill, boating, swimming, sunbathing, or just driving to a concert.

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