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It's a great July 4 forecast for Va. But first, we have to get through storms and downpours

RICHMOND — Sometimes, we get the right weather at the right time.

Independence Day weekend will bring a refreshing dip of cooler weather to Virginia after a spell of 90s this week — and before another resurgence of heat next week.

If the forecast for Saturday and Sunday bears out, the morning 60s and afternoon 80s will feel like we’re in typical early June conditions rather than early July.

Summer’s spotty storms often make for a wait-and-see approach to cookouts and fireworks, but high pressure will try to deliver perfectly dry holiday weather across the entire commonwealth for the first time since 2010. (Except that time, it was scorching.)

But we can’t enjoy that mild pattern without first getting through some active weather. Some severe weather or flash flooding is possible late Thursday, and don’t be surprised if lingering rain slows the highways on Friday.

Thursday. A cold front pushing in from the northwest will bring widespread rain and storms, first to the western and northern sections of Virginia by midday or early afternoon, then to central, eastern and southern areas throughout the evening. Damaging wind gusts are possible, especially in the vicinity of the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. Flash flooding could emerge anywhere that downpours take repeat paths, but the concern for excessive rain is a bit higher for Northern Virginia and the mountains. Highs will be muggy and hot but a bit lower than Wednesday, with lower- to mid-90s for most but 80s in the mountains where rain arrives sooner.

Friday. Rain is likely to continue through Thursday night into Friday morning across Virginia, falling heavy at times between Danville, Richmond and Hampton Roads. Most of the rain will clear from northwest to southeast by the evening as the front makes progress offshore. Flash flooding could be an ongoing concern, but cooler temperatures should cut back on severe weather potential. Overcast skies will mean highs between the mid-70s and lower 80s across the commonwealth.

Saturday. Saturday’s weather will be an improvement, but the possibility for some rain might linger. Unlike Friday, any showers passing across the eastern half of the state would be hit or miss — and come and go where they do hit. Expect lower 80s for highs beneath a mix of clouds and sun. Winds from the north will bring lower, less-muggy dew points in the 60s or even 50s.

Sunday. The forecast for Independence Day is just about as good as it gets for early July: mostly sunny, dry and not too hot or humid all throughout Virginia. The odds of a pop-up shower are 10% or lower. Morning lows trend in the 50s for the mountains, lower 60s for the Piedmont and mid- to upper 60s in Tidewater. Expected highs range from 70s in the higher elevations to mid-80s elsewhere. Though warmer than Saturday, the dew point still will be comfortable for this time of year.

Monday. We probably turn the corner to more typical summer conditions on Monday, with highs close to 90 degrees fitting for inland pools and beaches alike. The pattern suggests a primarily dry day in the region, but some hit-or-miss thundershowers might return with the muggier air and the heat of the day.


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