WEATHER: Fourth of July forecast

Posted at 5:44 AM, Jul 04, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-04 12:59:58-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – The Fourth of July will feel typical of a hot, humid Summer day in central Virginia. Highs will be in the mid to upper 90s with heat index values ranging 100 to 105 degrees. There is a Heat Advisory in effect for some parts of Virginia, but we’ll all experience the same heat indices, so whether or not you’re included in the Advisory, you should use caution when enjoying the Holiday outdoors. By fireworks time between 9 and 10 p.m., temperatures should range 85 to 87 degrees in central Virginia.

With the hot and humid air-mass in place still, we’ll have the chance again this afternoon and early evening for some scattered strong thunderstorms, especially west of I-95 (just like the past two days). The strongest storms will be capable of frequent lightning, gusty winds that may reach severe limits (about 60 mph), locally heavy downpours, and small hail. If you have outdoor plans today, make sure you have a safe, indoor location to move to quickly in the event a storm threatens your festivities!

While northwest flow aloft remains in place, any clusters of thunderstorms that form to our northwest may move into northwestern parts of the Commonwealth later this afternoon and evening, producing damaging wind gusts around 60 mph, frequent lightning, small hail, and torrential downpours. Here’s the regional Slight Risk map:

And here’s a closer view of the areas affected in the Commonwealth:

In addition, there is also a Code Orange Air Quality Alert for the Richmond and Petersburg metro areas.

“Unhealthy for sensitive groups” means that those with respiratory issues (including asthma), heart conditions, the very young and the elderly are encouraged to limit physical exertion and remain indoors as much as possible.  The UV Index is also Very High today.

The James River level in Richmond is at 3.7 feet as of Noon Wednesday, and is expected to remain below four feet the rest of this week. However, CLICK HERE for a warning if you plan to get in the James River!

Have a safe and enjoyable Independence Day!
CLICK HERE for a list of holiday events across our area.
CLICK HERE for a holiday traffic forecast.
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CLICK HERE for my Wednesday Morning Forecast Discussion.

Meteorologist Carrie Rose
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