Many people are looking forward to the spectacular Fourth of July fireworks shows. However, everything from rain, wind and humidity can affect not only if you can launch those rockets into the sky, but also what they will look like.

What You Need To Know

  • High humidity can make the fireworks' colors less vibrant

  • Strong winds during fireworks can endanger the public

  • Lightning can strike spectators and unlit fireworks

Ideal weather

Clear skies, light winds and low humidity make for a great show. Extra moisture in the air can distort the colors and make them less vibrant.

Less humidity also means we can enjoy the show a little more because we don’t feel sticky.


We also need to have the right amount of wind. Light wind might not clear the smoke quickly enough, affecting how well you can see the fireworks.  

Too much wind can blow smoke or embers around, endangering people.

Fireworks smoke
Smoke from a fireworks display at Chicago's Navy Pier filters through the skyline on wind currents from Lake Michigan. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Rain and lightning

Light rain is okay when it comes to fireworks, as long as they are covered or in waterproof bags. A wet fuse will not light.

Rain before fireworks
A couple improvises by hovering beneath a towel during a brief rain shower while waiting in Brooklyn Bridge Park for the start of a fireworks display on the Fourth of July, Monday, July 4, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Storms and heavy rain can lead to canceled or delayed shows. Lightning can pose a major threat, sometimes striking unlit fireworks or even people.


Drought conditions can also cause problems. The fallout from fireworks can spark fires when there's a lot of dry vegetation.

Each year, fireworks spawn many fires.

A burnt hillside caused by fireworks in Provo, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

If there is a bad drought happening in your area, avoid setting off fireworks. Often, local authorities will ban the use of fireworks in high fire risk or drought conditions.

However, bigger shows might launch over bodies of water to accommodate for a drought.

So, keep these in mind if you plan on setting off fireworks. Check the forecast first and stay safe!

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