Get AccuWeather alerts right in your browser!
Enable Notifications
Severe Thunderstorm Warning

Intense heat, tropical downpours to pester southern US through 4th of July

By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
July 03, 2019, 11:15:24 PM EDT

While hot and humid weather is a given in the South, AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures may approach 110 degrees Fahrenheit in eastern areas as tropical downpours propagate northward over central areas.

steamy with storms July 4th

With high temperatures generally climbing into the middle to upper 90s and a few triple-digit readings expected, it will become dangerous for strenuous outdoor activities from the late morning to the early evening hours from the lower Mississippi Valley to the southern Atlantic Seaboard over the balance of this week.

Charlotte, Raleigh and Fayetteville, North Carolina; Columbia, South Carolina; Augusta and Macon, Georgia; Montgomery and Dothan, Alabama; and Jacksonville and Gainesville, Florida; are among the southern United States cities that can expect temperatures to approach the triple-digit mark on one or more days this week.

SE Heat This Week

Forecast high temperatures will generally be 5-10 degrees above average for early July.

Staying hydrated during these conditions is essential, even when not partaking in vigorous physical activity. When possible, take breaks from the heat in an air-conditioned environment.

The weather pattern and warm surf conditions will make for nearly ideal conditions at most of the beaches.

Contributing to the unusually high temperatures will be areas of building dryness and drought in the Southeast.

Drought is currently affecting about 2.7 million people from Florida and Alabama to North Carolina, according to the United States Drought Monitor.

Heat exhaustion vs. heatstroke: What are the warning signs and how should you react?
7 lightning safety tips if you’re caught outside during a thunderstorm
What you should do if you get stuck driving in floodwaters
Forecasters urge coastal residents to prepare now as Atlantic hurricane season is underway
Hurricane Barbara continues to roar in Eastern Pacific, peaked close to Category 5 strength

When the landscape is dry over a broad area, more of the sun's energy is available to heat the ground and nearby air, rather than spent on evaporating moisture from the ground.

In terms of thunderstorm activity, just about any thunderstorm in the South can pack a punch during the summertime, and this week will be no exception.

Storms will tend to be very spotty in nature and generally occur during the afternoon and evening hours.

However, storms are likely to be more widespread and especially drenching in parts of the region.

While some locations in this swath may not experience heavy rainfall, a few places can be hit with downpours that flood streets, small streams and low-lying areas.

By the Fourth of July, this area of drenching downpours will tend to become more dispersed over the South-Central states and will spread into portions of the Southeast region.

July 4 Plain Language 9 am

"It's possible a weak disturbance manages to enhance thunderstorm activity near the Carolina coast as Thursday progresses," according to AccuWeather Long-Range Meteorologist Max Vido.

Big storms are likely to extend from central Pennsylvania, southward to eastern Georgia during the afternoon hours and then crawl eastward during the evening.

East Storms July 4

"This is one of several areas across the nation where we will be monitoring for disruptive weather conditions."

However, a large amount of area in the South is likely to be free of rain for 23 hours of Independence Day. So, most fireworks are likely to take place as scheduled.

Keep in mind that any thunderstorm this time of the year can briefly pulse to severe levels and produce wind gusts in excess of 55 mph with frequent lightning strikes over a small area.

Downburst winds can knock over trees, cause power outages and property damage in part of one neighborhood and not the other.

If you can hear thunder, you are at risk for being struck by lightning. Seek shelter indoors or in a hardtop metal vehicle at the first rumble of thunder.

Download the free AccuWeather app to check on the latest forecast for your outdoor plans and to stay aware of any severe weather or flash flood watches and warnings. Keep checking back for updates on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios.

severe aug17

Report a Typo


Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.

More Weather News