Weather Forecast for Fourth of July in Northern Virginia

Are you changing your holiday travel plans because of Arthur?

NWS predicts clear skies for fireworks on Independence Day in the DC metro area. Patch archive photo
NWS predicts clear skies for fireworks on Independence Day in the DC metro area. Patch archive photo
A National Weather Service spokesman in the Sterling, Va. office said Wednesday that fireworks shows in the DC metro area are in no danger of getting rained out on Friday, the Fourth of July.

"We're thinking by Friday afternoon all of the rain will be out, and we'll be in great shape Friday afternoon," said Carl Barnes, meteorologist in the Sterling, Va. office of the National Weather Service, Wednesday afternoon. "And Saturday should be a really nice day as well."

For Thursday, Barnes said to expect severe thunderstorms and periods of heavy rain. "It will mostly be out by Friday morning," he said.

A chance of rain will continue for Northern Virginia until about noon on Friday, Barnes said.
After the cold front that is passing through the area Thursday, Northern Virginia will have "much less humid air," he said. The highs on Friday will only be in the low to mid-80s and Saturday will be even better, with highs in the low 80s with low humidity.

"At this time of year, that's really pleasant," he said.

What about Tropical Storm Arthur? Is it something for Northern Virginia to worry about?

"Right now, the tropical storm, for Northern Virginia, we're not looking for there to be much of an effect," Barnes said.

But for anyone going to Ocean City or the DelMarVa area, "it might have an affect over there" especially with dangerous surf. (Ocean City announced Wednesday that they will shoot off their 4th of July fireworks on Saturday.)
Rip currents could be a danger all up and down the East coast, according to the National Weather Service.

The only thing Arthur might bring to Northern Virginia is "breezy winds" which could be a hazard for anyone out on the water, Barnes said.

Also because of moisture from the ocean pushed by Arthur mixing with Thursday's cold front, it could produce heavier rainfall in Northern Virginia, leading to localized flooding.

For anyone heading to Virginia Beach, Barnes said that Arthur could bring tropical storm winds starting Friday morning and continuing through Friday. On Wednesday afternoon, Virginia Beach was included in a Tropical Storm Warning.

The worst of the storm may occur at Cape Hatteras, N.C., about dawn Friday, with 3 to 5 inches of rain and sustained winds up to 85 mph, Tony Saavedra, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, told USA Today. Cape Hatteras is under a mandatory evacuation, with residents and visitors needing to be out by 5 a.m. Thursday, according to Dare County Emergency Management. NOAA issued a potential flooding map on Wednesday.

The Hurricane Center is predicting the storm will go over the Outer Banks and then head northeast from there and not go directly over Virginia Beach; but meteorologists are still keeping an eye on it to see if it may "hug the coast" or swing a bit west.

Meteorologists predict Arthur will turn into a hurricane after midnight Wednesday, once it reaches sustained winds of 74 MPH.


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