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Fog, clouds to obscure SF Independence Day fireworks

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Tale as old as time

New Year’s Eve 2016/17 - Munich Photo by Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

The yearly struggle continues for those hoping to indulge in the traditional Fourth of July fireworks spectacle in the Bay Area, as the weather forecast calls for clouds and fog that will make viewing a trial in most places.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the forecast for Thursday is “patchy drizzle” in the morning with sunny conditions the rest of the day. However, come nightfall clouds will move in—of course.

A more detailed forecast estimates cloud cover as high as 66 percent in San Francisco on Thursday, with the overcast beginning to develop around 6 p.m. and becoming more intense as the night progresses. Fireworks at Fisherman’s Wharf are scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m.

I’s the altitude of the clouds that will have the most effect on pyrotechnical viewing. Although it’s hard to say in advance how low the cover will hover. NWS meteorologist David King warns the San Francisco Chronicle, “Our lingering thought is that it’s going to be low enough to obscure fireworks.”

The forecast on Weather Underground is a little less discouraging—the projection for Thursday forecasts a cloud cover to start to thicken around 9 p.m. (but not as badly as NWS expects) with coverage increasing to 35 percent around nine and then to get as high as 48 percent by 11 P.M.

So, less of an obstruction, but still enough to potentially put a damper on the evening.

ABC7’s forecast is that “the weather is going to be phenomenal” most of Thursday, but that San Francisco will see fog start to pile up right around fireworks time at 9:30 p.m. Thursday evening.

Independence Day will also see lows of 55 degrees in all likelihood, so those heading out to try to defy the fog and catch some of the show anyway should dress warmly.

This is hardly the first time that typical San Francisco summer weather has threatened to blot out Independence Day to-do. Check out Curbed SF’s 2019 guide for the best places to take in the show in defiance of the forces of nature anyway.