The Fourth of July will be a scorcher for most of the county, with sizzling temperatures on the rise as the country celebrates its independence over the holiday weekend. A forecast from CNN Weather shows Saturday's highest temperature as 109 degrees Fahrenheit in Arizona and the lowest temperature as 69 degrees in Maine — but most of the country will settle for somewhere in between those two figures, with most states seeing high 80s to mid-90s.
Not only will coronavirus restrictions dampen many celebrations across the nation, but so will potential storms and heavy rain that could make their way through Florida and the Gulf Coast states. As a storm system moves east along the Gulf Coast over the weekend, temperatures will hover around the normal sweltering southern heat, with highs in the 80s and 90s.
The Northeast will see normal temperatures with highs in the 70s and 80s. A summer shower or two could be possible across the region, CNN reports. The Plains, including parts of Texas, could also see scattered showers, with intense storms over the Northern Plains. Temperatures will be a bit hotter than usual across the Northern Plains.
As for the Midwest, states there can anticipate the same warm weather under mostly clear skies. Some places will see highs in the 90s, while Chicago could see temperatures in the mid-80s. The Northwest, including Portland and Seattle, will see a mostly dry, moderate weekend, with temperatures in the 70s. The Southwest may see some rain as well.
Health experts warn that the holiday weekend could make for a "perfect storm" of coronavirus infections — but only for those who don't safely celebrate. Risk factors for a new spike in COVID-19 cases include cities reopening, people not following preventative guidelines and people traveling, infectious disease specialist at Boston Medical Center Dr. Joshua Barocas said at a briefing Wednesday by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. But CNN contributor and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth biology professor Erin Bromage said there are a few ways to celebrate Independence Day safely.
"We need to be vigilant with what we're doing, so keep your distance, keep it outside, wash your hands often, wear a mask when you can't distance," she said. She suggested hosting your barbecue outdoors with plenty of social distancing — and to cancel if it rains. In the pool and at the beach, keep your distance. If that's not possible, she suggests going home. The same goes for fireworks displays: keep your distance.
"If we're all jammed into a small backyard watching all of these fireworks because that's the only viewing window that we have, then it's not a great idea," Bromage said. "If you can actually spread out and create distance with your family and other families, then you can do this safely."