Editor’s note: A version of this article originally appeared in the weekly weather newsletter, CNN Weather Summary, which is released every Monday. You can sign up here to receive it every week and during severe storms.
Severe storms and record temperatures pose serious risks during the Fourth of July holiday, so don’t be surprised if the forecast dictates a backup plan for your celebration.
While record temperatures may be falling in the South, they are increasing elsewhere. The storm threat is not taking a vacation as it remains active through most of this week following recent deadly storms across the country.
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Here’s what to plan for today, and on the Fourth of July, by region:
Mid-Atlantic and Northeast: Severe storms will threaten millions
- today: Much of the mid-Atlantic is now under Level 3 of 5 enhanced risk for severe storms, including Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Damaging winds and large hail will be the main threats during the afternoon and evening hours. These storms will also threaten the I-95 corridor and several northeastern airports.
- Fourth of July: The overall threat takes a step down but extends to the Northeast and includes New York City. The greatest threat of storms will be during the afternoon and evening hours, and although storms may be hit or miss, some may be very strong, so fireworks could be disrupted.
Southeast: Heat indexes will rise to 110 degrees with the possibility of storms
Some storms may be severe today and on the Fourth of July during the afternoon and late evening, with damaging winds, large hail, and an isolated tornado or two. Make a plan in case you need to seek shelter during a holiday celebration. Heat warnings are in effect from the northern Florida coast to southern Virginia, where temperatures will reach the upper 90s. The heat index for these areas can reach a dangerous 110 degrees, so be sure to drink plenty of water and have a cool place to take a break from the outdoor heat.
Midwest and Plains: Severe storms and hottest temperatures of the year so far
- The Midwest and Plains will also face a serious Level 2 out of 5 risk of severe weather due to damaging winds and large hail today and on the Fourth of July. Today’s storms will be primarily in the afternoon and evening hours, but tomorrow’s storms will be more widespread.
- Today’s temperatures are expected to be the hottest so far this year with heat indexes reaching the mid to upper 90s in parts of the Midwest. These temperatures will drop once the cold front passes through the area tomorrow.
West: There is no threat of storms, but the heat is dangerous
- While the West will avoid the storm threat, millions will not be able to escape the heat. Triple-digit temperatures will dominate throughout California’s Central Valley and Desert Southwest today. The heat index can reach 120 degrees in the Colorado River Valley and reach 125 degrees in Death Valley, California.
- Heat will ease tomorrow in the Southwest and accumulate in the Pacific Northwest. Several records could be broken, with highs expected to reach triple digits on Tuesday across parts of Oregon and Northern California.
Severe storms and heavy rainfall are expected throughout most of the week
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The severe storms and heavy rain won’t stop after the holiday. On Wednesday, the threat will cover nearly 90 million people. The main risk area will be across the Midwest and Southern Plains with a 2 out of 5 slight risk level for places like Chicago, Indianapolis, Denver, Kansas City, Missouri and Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Storm Prediction Center is also highlighting an area in the Plains on Thursday to watch for the threat of severe weather, but it’s too early for details. Be sure to check back here for any updates during the week.
Any of these storms will have the potential to produce heavy rain, so be prepared for flash flooding during the week.