US rings in Independence Day amid heat, heavy rains and fire risk

Forecasters say severe summer heat and storms are likely to stretch on through the holiday week.
Fireworks in New York City
Posted at 10:54 PM, Jul 04, 2023

Weather across the U.S., both hot and cold, didn't dissuade those out to celebrate Independence Day this year.

Rain sprinkled over spectators taking in the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, and fell much more heavily on those watching the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest at Coney Island in New York.

Meanwhile, risk of thunderstorms canceled planned fireworks displays in Estes Park, Colorado, and in Golden, west of Denver. Shows in South Dakota and Nebraska were postponed until Wednesday due to storm threats.

Other municipalities, including Boulder, Colorado, have opted for shows that call on swarms of lit-up drones, rather than pyrotechnics, to reduce fire risks or to improve air quality.

A firework explodes in the sky.

Fireworks cause same toxic smoke as wildfires, concerning New Yorkers

There's a big fireworks show coming to New York City, but not without concern.


Southern California's air pollution agency sent out an alert that fireworks smoke could cause health problems. And in New York City, experts warned that smoke from fireworks displays could contribute to the air quality problems the region has experienced during Canada's record-setting wildfire season.

Thunderstorms cut off the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race, but other running events in places as far flung as Lexington, Kentucky and Seward, Alaska went on.

Forecasters on Tuesday said record-breaking heat was expected to continue through the week for parts of the Pacific Northwest, and that severe storms could threaten parts of the Central Plains and Midwest.