Rain forecast for Friday may be a blessing in disguise for Fourth of July revelers that are planning on watching firework shows to kick off the holiday weekend, according to storm-tracking experts.

The cold front that is expected to make for a wet Friday morning—likely raining on some Independence Day parades—will keep away Arthur, the tropical storm the reached hurricane strength Thursday as it works way up the East Coast, forecasters say.

“There really is at this time no direct impact,” David Stark, an Upton-based National Weather Service meteorologist, said of Arthur. As for the cold front keeping the tropical cyclone at bay, he added: “It looks like there’s a window there [Friday] evening for things to dry out.”

While the odds “increasingly” favor possible thunderstorms clearing out before noon Friday—leaving only a slight chance of rain after sundown when the fireworks shows start—the more serious threat are rip currents at ocean beaches, Stark said. The rough seas kicked up by Arthur will likely make it a better day for surfing than swimming.

The first named storm of the season comes at an unusual time, but is taking a typical July track. Only seven tropical storms and one or two hurricanes form per century this early in hurricane season, according to the weather service.

The agency had forecast a “near or below normal” 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season with eight to 13 tropical cyclones, three to six of which may strengthen into hurricanes, with one or two of those reaching major hurricane status. The season started June 1, peaks in September and ends Nov. 30.

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In the short term, the rain is forecast to start falling at around 3 p.m. Thursday. Although it isn’t certain just how early skies may clear up on Friday, it is expected to take longer on the East End than the rest of Long Island. After that, the holiday weekend is predicted to have perfect beach weather with sunny skies and temperatures in the 80s on Saturday and Sunday.



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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.