Expect A Wet Wyoming Fourth Of July Up To 15 Degrees Cooler Than Average

Wyoming residents can expect Mother Nature to rain on their parades, barbecues and campouts for this week’s Fourth of July celebrations. It will also be as much as 15 degrees cooler than average.

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Andrew Rossi

July 01, 20244 min read

The Cody Stampede Parade on July 4, 2023. Cowboy State Daily meteorologist Don Day said daytime temperatures will be in the high 60s and low 70s this year, and there's a chance parade routes in northern Wyoming could look much like they did last year, with overnight and early morning showers and thunderstorms.
The Cody Stampede Parade on July 4, 2023. Cowboy State Daily meteorologist Don Day said daytime temperatures will be in the high 60s and low 70s this year, and there's a chance parade routes in northern Wyoming could look much like they did last year, with overnight and early morning showers and thunderstorms. (Andrew Rossi, Cowboy State Daily)

Wyoming residents can expect Mother Nature to rain on their parades, barbecues and campouts for this week’s Fourth of July celebrations.

A cold front threatens to rain on several parades around the Cowboy State on Independence Day (Thursday) and could dampen the fuses on community fireworks displays that evening.

The Independence Day forecast is cool and damp across Wyoming, and it might last long enough to delay the evening fireworks in some parts on the Fourth, said Cowboy State Daily meteorologist Don Day. While the fires of patriotism warm the hearts of Americans, daytime highs will only be in the high 60s and low 70s.

"Usually it's too hot on the Fourth of July, but it's certainly not going to be this year," said Day. "The cold front coming in overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning will affect the whole state."

The Spirit Of 76 Degrees

The incoming Independence Day cold front will impact all of Wyoming. Day said the front would move across the Cowboy State from north to south throughout the day.

"With the timing of the cold front, the northern and northeast parts of the state will probably be the coolest," he said. "There's going to be some clouds, showers and thunderstorms, and it'll be especially concentrated east of the Continental Divide."

The cold front will manifest as showers and thunderstorms in northern and eastern Wyoming on Wednesday night and into Thursday morning. The Fourth of July parades in Cody, Sheridan and Gillette might get a little damp, he said.

Day even said he wouldn't be surprised if the highest points of the Beartooth Highway and Bighorn Mountains got some snow flurries Thursday morning.

"Dare I say, I think that the Powder River Pass and the Beartooths could see snowflakes," he said. "I'm not expecting anything to accumulate, and it'll all be above 11,000 feet, but it's possible."

As the day progresses, the cold front will move southward. Casper, Cheyenne and Laramie residents might consider moving their picnics and barbeques inside to avoid an afternoon shower.

Most Wyomingites will feel the chill of the cold front's drop in temperature throughout the Fourth of July. Day said daytime temperatures across the northern part of Wyoming could be as much as 10 to 15 degrees below average for the first week of July.

"It could be 88 in Torrington but 61 in Sheridan," he said. "And the front's timing is such that it'll be happening on the Fourth of July."

Fireworks Forecasts

Dozens of fireworks shows are planned on the night of July 4. Day said the cold front's southward trajectory means it should move off Wyoming by early evening, but that could still cloud the skies for fireworks.

"In terms of firework displays, it does look like the showers will be tapering off by then," he said.

Moisture detrimentally impacts fireworks by reducing their intensity, causing misfires during a display, or preventing them from igniting.

Day doesn’t think anyone needs to cancel their plans for the evening, but he’s not sure how the day's weather will impact the fireworks, especially in southeastern Wyoming.

"I would say from what I'm seeing that by the time fireworks displays go off, those showers will be over, but it's a little hard to tell and no guarantee," he said.

Running The Four-Season Gamut Again

This would be the second year in a row where showers and cooler-than-average temperatures dampened the spirit of the Fourth of July around Wyoming. However, Day said the conditions now are different from last year.

"It was wet everywhere last June, and I think some of the coolness we had over the Fourth of July period last year resulted from that," he said. "The ground was really wet then, and that will keep things cool. This year, it's just another summer cold front that's perfectly timed for the Fourth of July."

After reviewing historical data, Day said cold fronts are more common in the first week of July than most Wyomingites realize. That might be a warm thought for everyone anticipating a summer holiday, but Day added that the cooler conditions won't last long.

"Temperatures will still be cooler than average on Friday, but they will start to rise again by the weekend," he said. "I know many people make a long weekend for the Fourth of July, and it will be cooler on Thursday and Friday, but the cold isn't going to stay for the entire weekend."

Still, Day recommends Wyomingites bring a jacket to put over their American flag apparel on the Fourth of July. It might not be the most enjoyable way to celebrate American independence, but it is a fitting celebration of life in Wyoming.

"We're going to run the gamut," he said of the holiday weather. "It's Wyoming, where you get all four seasons over five days."

Andrew Rossi can be reached at arossi@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Andrew Rossi

Features Reporter

Andrew Rossi is a features reporter for Cowboy State Daily based in northwest Wyoming. He covers everything from horrible weather and giant pumpkins to dinosaurs, astronomy, and the eccentricities of Yellowstone National Park.