According to AAA, a record-breaking number of Americans, 48.9 million, are expected to travel for Independence Day in 2019, including a record of 41.4 million people who will drive for their holiday getaways. Wednesday is expected to be the busiest day for people hitting the road.
The main storm track will be near the Canada border during the first week of July. South of this storm track, summer warmth will be abundant and most thunderstorms will be few and far between.
Most major rivers over the spring flood-ravaged central United States will be on the recession.
Much of the nation can expect highs in the 80s and 90s. This time of the year, on a sunny day with a high withing a few degrees of 90, AccuWeather RealFeel Temperatures often peak close to 100.
For Norwalk, the National Weather Service is predicting mostly cloudy skies Thursday, with a 40 percent change of scattered showers and thunderstorms and a high near 86. Thursday night’s forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of precipitation and a low of 70.
The greatest threat to outdoor gatherings and fireworks displays will be from mainly isolated thunderstorm activity. However, in most areas where a garden variety summer thunderstorm comes calling, it should only take up a small part of the day.
In early July, the nature of thunderstorms is such that they are most likely from the hours spanning 4 to 10 p.m., local time. This is the part of the day and evening when most people are engaged int outdoor activities on Independence Day.
The early outlook for Independence Day suggests that areas with a chance at being directly affected by or at least have a close call with a brief thunderstorm downpour will expand northward from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Upper Midwest, much of the Northeast and the northern Plains and northern Rockies.
In between thunderstorms this weekend and later next week, heat is forecast to build during the first few days of days of July in the Northeast.
There will be some exceptions to the brief, isolated thunderstorm projection, however.
While broad areas of steady rain are rare, complexes of thunderstorms that form can bring downpours that last more than an hour.
Exact areas where these complexes may form or travel through on July Fourth are not apparent at this time. However, the greatest risk of a large thunderstorm complex that affects a broad area will be across the central and northern Plains to the Midwest.
This time of the year, where thunderstorms form on one day may depend on the extent of rainfall from the day before. Rain the day before tends to cool the landscape and may inhibit thunderstorm formation in some cases the next day.
Whether it's a case of a small, slow-moving thunderstorm, or a large storm complex, isolated flash flooding and damaging winds cannot be ruled out. However, current indications are that these areas will be an exception and not widespread for this year's holiday.
For those camping outdoors or those with personal fireworks displays, be sure to check local ordinances that may prohibit such activities, including during drought conditions.
Bathers should be aware that water temperatures are far from their maximum levels of the summer during early July. Cold water shock can occur in surprisingly mild temperatures.
Be sure to take breaks from vigorous exercise and stay hydrated to avoid becoming another casualty from heat exhaustion or heatstroke this holiday. Be sure to frequently check on young children and the elderly as the temperature climbs.
Don't forget your pets will need extra attention during hot weather. This includes if you will be leaving them home during the holiday.
Make sure your animals have access to a cool and shady location with plenty of fresh water available at all times.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Alex Sosnowski is an AccuWeather senior meteorologist.