With the Fourth of July approaching and Hurricane Arthur threatening the Eastern Seaboard, millions of Americans have the potential be in the path of severe weather this holiday weekend. Many of the nation's largest fireworks shows take place on the east coast, in cities that will feel the effects of Arthur at some point.
"Fortunately, by dusk on Friday, the problem areas from this storm are very confined," said Tom Moore, coordinating meteorologist at The Weather Channel.
Here is how the biggest fireworks productions are planning for bad weather:
New York, NY - Macy's 38th Annual 4th of July Fireworks
The largest pyrotechnic display in the U.S., the Macy's fireworks have never had to be cancelled. "Since the show became an annual event in 1976, it has always taken place on July 4th," said Orlando Veras, a spokesman for Macy's. "Macy's fireworks can take place in the rain, as they have on numerous occasions in the past."
In the event of lightning close to the start time of the show, Macy's and New York City emergency management officials may delay the show's opening until the weather passes. Macy's says it expects more than three million spectators to crowd the east side of Manhattan and Brooklyn waterfront for this year's show -- the first to take place above the Brooklyn Bridge since 2009.
Charleston, SC - Fourth of July Blast at Patriots Point
About 25,000 spectators are expected to crowd Charleston harbor and the flight deck of the USS Yorktown for the annual fireworks show with the city skyline as the backdrop. A spokesman for the Patriots Point naval museum, which puts on the show, says the fireworks have never had to be postponed for weather. In the case of high winds, heavy rain or lightning, spectators on the flight deck of the Yorktown would be brought into the carrier's hangar bay, while those watching on land would be asked to seek cover in their cars until the storm passed.
Washington, D.C. - National Mall Independence Day Celebration
The National Parks Service puts on one of the most iconic firework displays over the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool each year. Parks Service Spokeswoman Carol Johnson said the show has been delayed in the past, but never cancelled. "We can launch in the rain, as long as there is no lightning," she said, adding that high winds can also pose a problem. In the event of such severe weather, the show would be postponed until July 5. Johnson said rain that is forecast for earlier in the day could delay the setup, but she does not expect the event itself to be impacted.
Hershey, PA - Hersheypark Fireworks
The famed amusement park offers a fireworks production later in the night, after 10 p.m., to allow for a full day at the attractions. The park will make a decision about whether to postpone the event in the same way it makes decisions about ride closures, according to spokeswoman Kathy Burrows. Among the considerations are high wind, steady rain and lightning. The show would be postponed until the following night in the event of severe weather.
Philadelphia, PA - Philly Fourth of July Jam and Grand Fireworks Finale
A fireworks show where it all began remains on schedule for Benjamin Franklin Parkway, according to Lauren Cox, a spokeswoman for the city. Fireworks will launch for display over the Philadelphia Museum of Art and will be preceded by a concert featuring The Roots. The city will make further decisions based on weather closer to the show, Cox said.
Boston, MA - Boston Pops Firework Spectacular
Massachusetts State Police decided Tuesday afternoon that due to the projected path of Tropical Storm Arthur, the fireworks display planned for Friday along the Charles River Esplanade would be moved a night up to Thursday. A concert featuring the Beach Boys that is paired with the show will also take place Thursday. In the event of severe weather Thursday, the fireworks could potentially be moved to Saturday, said Col. Tim Alben of the state police, but the concert would be cancelled.
Providence, RI - BankRI Independence Day Celebration
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras announced late Tuesday that the city would postpone its fireworks event a day because of the threat from Arthur. The show, which takes place at India Point Park, will now be scheduled for Saturday night. Providence is among the cities most likely to get walloped from Arthur as it skirts the coast on July 4th, according to The Weather Channel.
First published July 2 2014, 3:32 PM