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Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 06/26/2008

Independence Day Indicators

By Jason Samenow

Does it seem like there's always rain on the 4th of July? The answer is practically yes in recent years.

During three of the last four years we've had rain, and in each case thunderstorms during the 5 p.m. hour. Those storms were no doubt a nuisance for barbecues but fortunately, in all cases, out of here by 7 p.m. -- just in time for fireworks.

What can we say about the odds of rain this year? And how warm will it be?

Keep reading for some July 4th speculation. Also, see our full forecast through the weekend.

In my opinion, it's too early to provide a detailed forecast for next Friday -- as that's eight days away -- and outside the limit of predictability with any degree of skill. But if you're really desperate for a forecast and don't care if it has proven skill, AccuWeather is calling for a mix of clouds and sun with a high near 90.

It turns out what AccuWeather is forecasting is pretty close to what is average weather for July 4. The average high is 88 with an average low of 69. While it's rained three out of the past four years, it has only rained more than one tenth of an inch 16 times in the last 78 years. In other words, it's only rained enough to really notice it about 20% of the time.

Here are some other interesting July 4 climate facts:

*The wettest day occurred in 2004 when 2.18" of rain fell.
*The hottest day was in 1919 when temperatures soared to 100.
*The coolest day was in 1941 when the high was only 68 and over an inch of rain fell.
*Of the 78 July 4ths since 1929, 40 have had highs in the 80s, 27 have had highs in the 90s, 10 have had highs in the 70s, and 1 has seen highs only make the 60s.

Bottom Line: A likely forecast is very warm and humid with temperatures in the high 80s and a 20% chance of an isolated storm. But it's too early to rule out other more- or less-extreme possibilities. Starting this weekend, we'll post a detailed July 4 forecast and update it right up until Independence Day is here.

(Weather statistics in this post are based on data from Reagan National Airport.)

By Jason Samenow  | June 26, 2008; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Fourth of July, Local Climate  
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