HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A wide variety of fireworks shows are scheduled across the Tennessee Valley Monday night in celebration of our great nation’s birthday.
The weather is always an important topic of discussion with so many people planning to be outdoors, but have you ever thought about how the weather affects the fireworks themselves?
WeatherSTEM offers up the five elements that can impact fireworks the most.
Drought is the number one enemy of fireworks displays. A drought happens when a place has had very little rain and conditions are very dry. Most big fireworks displays are launched over water to reduce the risk of starting fires.
If you plan on launching fireworks yourself, please use extreme caution.
Rain and humidity
Fireworks can be set off in the rain, as long as they are in sealed containers that limit the amount of water that touches them. Wet fuses will not light.
While spectators might not like sitting in the rain, in general, rain is not an issue for fireworks themselves– unless the rain is extremely intense.
You might not have considered how humidity affects fireworks, but the colors of the fireworks may appear less bright in high-humidity air.
Lightning is the most dangerous of weather conditions that may affect fireworks shows.
Unlit fireworks can be lit by stray lightning strikes and ignite on the ground– a big concern for people standing or sitting nearby.
Always remember: When thunder roars, head indoors.
If you plan on being outdoors Thursday evening and Thursday night, download Live Alert 19 now and program it to send you lightning alerts when storms are nearby.
Too much or too little wind can become an issue during a fireworks display.
If the wind is calm, the smoke following the fireworks explosion won’t dissipate. This may affect the vividness of the fireworks. Strong winds can blow smoke or hot embers into areas with spectators.
Temperature usually gets cooler the higher you go up into the atmosphere. At night, however, the opposite is typically true. Sometimes a layer of warm air just off the ground, called an inversion, can trap the smoke close to the surface during fireworks displays. Smoke-filled air does not create the best viewing for fireworks.
The forecast for north Alabama and southern Tennessee Monday night includes the chance of some rain and thunderstorms. Read the forecast discussion to check the latest expectations of when and how much rain we are expecting.
If any changes are made to fireworks schedules, they will be posted to WHNT.com.
Portions of this article originally appeared on WeatherSTEM.