Fourth of July Travel Outlook
UPDATED 11 AM EDT, July 3, 2014
UPDATED By WeatherBug's Luke Paris
Travel for Independence Day will be relatively easy, with a few bumps in the road anticipated thanks to Hurricane Arthur.
Hurricane Arthur could produce the biggest travel headaches in the Southern Mid-Atlantic for reaching your Fourth of July destination. The storm will bring heavy rainfall to the immediate coast as it works northward toward the Carolinas. This will impact travel along Interstate 95 from Wilmington, N.C., to Jacksonville, Fla. Gusty winds, high waves and minor coastal flooding is possible and could make travel to outer islands difficult if not impossible. If your plans require a ferry ride, check with the provider before travelling. By evening, the North Carolina Outer Banks will be most at risk for heavy rain and squalls as Arthur nears the coast.
The good news is that outside of Arthur`s impacts, travel across the Southeast should be easy. Be it flying in or out of Atlanta or Miami, or driving along Interstates 20, 75 or 40, the only issue will be plenty of sunshine.
In the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, scattered showers and storms are expected throughout most of the day as a cold front advances towards the East Coast. The coastal areas have the highest chance for thunderstorms, some of which may be strong to severe. Weaker, more isolated activity is expected along the Appalachians. This may affect the major airports including Washington, New York and Boston. Travel along Interstates 81 and 95 could be hampered a bit by the stormy weather, particularly in the afternoon. These thunderstorms will likely produce heavy rain due to the tropical air mass in place. A Flash Flood Watch is in effect through late Thursday for locations up and down the East Coast, including Washington, D.C. and New York City.
A few thunderstorms are possible along a weak disturbance working its way across New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana. Windshield wipers will be required from Dallas to Houston along the Interstate 45 corridor and along Interstates 20 and 40 from New Mexico to Louisiana. Otherwise, travel from the Dakotas to the Great Lakes and as far south as Oklahoma and Arkansas will be a sun-filled proposition.
Bright sunshine will greet travelers moving along the West Coast, be it through San Francisco or Seattle`s airports, or along the Interstate 5 corridor. Warm weather will be a perfect opportunity to put the top down (if you have a convertible!) or roll down the windows.
Hurricane Arthur will continue to wreak havoc on the Eastern Seaboard on Friday morning, making travel near coastal destinations a difficult proposition. Gusty winds and heavy rain will be found across Interstate 95 from New Jersey to New England, and along U.S. Route 13 in the Delmarva. Coastal airports, such as Islip, N.Y., Providence, R.I., and Norfolk, Va., could have significant delays or cancellations.
Along the Gulf Coast, a few scattered showers will dot the afternoon landscape on July 4. Areas from San Antonio, Texas, to Jacksonville and Miami, Fla., may see a little bit of rainfall on Friday, but it shouldn`t put too much of a damper on any travel activities.
Likewise, showers and thunderstorms will be scattered but present in the Rockies on Friday. Driving over the mountain passes along Interstates 40, 70, 80 and 90 could bear witness to a few thunderstorms, but otherwise, generally dry weather will be found.
High pressure will stretch from the Plains to the interior East, producing loads of sunshine from the Interstate 35 corridor all the way to Interstate 81. Similarly, sun glare will be the only concern for drivers from California to Washington.
As Hurricane Arthur continues to push northeastward and off into the Deep Atlantic, weather related impacts on travel will begin to ease along the East Coast. The only congestion and delays will be found along the coastal locations of Maine and within Florida, where typical summer thunderstorms will rumble throughout the day.
In contrast, widespread scattered thunderstorms will encompass a great portion of the Central U.S., stretching from the Front Range, through the Northern and Central Plains and into the Midwest, possibly causing a few traffic speed bumps along Interstates 70, 80, and 90, as well as several Midwest metropolitan areas.
Storms popping up in the Southwest will dampen the roads along the western reaches of the Interstate 40 corridor while a few showers along the southeast Texas coast could bring travel delays from Houston to Corpus Christi, Texas. The remainder of the Western U.S. will see plenty of sunshine.
Be sure to check with WeatherBug for the latest on your Fourth of July weather forecast. Get the latest updates anywhere onTwitter
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