Monday, July 3, 2017

Where Fireworks May Not be a Good Idea This Fourth of July

Jonathan Belles
Published: July 3,2017

Summertime thunderstorms will hinder fireworks displays in parts of the East, but dry weather over the last couple months will increase the likelihood of additional wildfires in the West.
The worst weather on the Fourth of July will occur in a belt from the Southeast into the Plains, where thunderstorms could be most numerous.
As is typical this time of year, popcorn-type thunderstorms may delay some firework shows across other portions of the Midwest, Rockies and High Plains. Getting shows off the ground may take some luck in between showers and storms.
(MORE: Why Pop-Up Summer Thunderstorms are So Hard to Predict)

Fireworks Forecast
Even without the threat of lightning, many in the West will be unable to have fireworks this year.
Many parts of Utah have enacted fire bans and firework bans for the Fourth of July holiday weekend due to ongoing dry conditions. Restrictions include Weber County and much of Utah. Fireworks outside of cities in Utah are banned.
Burn bans or restrictions are in effect in all of or parts of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, California, Washington and Texas. Special restrictions are in place in the Black Hills region of Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota.
(MORE: Dozens of Large Fires Torching Thousands of Acres in the West)
Note that many cities add their own burn bans or restrictions, and all national forests and parks have restrictions.
Current fire restrictions across the United States. Check your local forestry department for details in your community. Many cities enact additional restrictions or bans.
In addition to where you are not legally allowed to light off fireworks or other types of fires, dry, hot and windy weather in parts of the High Plains, Great Basin and Southwest will make the chance of fire starts high.
Keep all this in mind before you shoot off your fireworks in these areas.
Furthermore, any isolated thunderstorms in the West in the afternoon and early evening may contain little rainfall. These dry thunderstorms are notorious for starting new wildfires due to the combination of lightning strikes and shifting, strong wind gusts.
(MORE: Why Dry Thunderstorms are a Danger)
Remember, if thunder roars, you should be indoors whether it is raining in a given location or not. Lightning can travel more than 10 miles from a parent thunderstorm and can strike even if it is not raining.
Happy 241st birthday, America! Thank you to all of our service members that make anniversaries like this one possible each year. 
MORE: Utah's Brian Head Fire

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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