It always seems to rain where I am on July 5th (or the day after the big community fireworks display). Here it is the 5th (or it was up until about 7 minutes ago) and it’s raining. I always figured it rained because of all the particles that the fireworks put into the atmosphere but that’s probably wrong. Anyways, statistically is rainfall the day after big fireworks displays higher than average and if so would the fireworks themselves be a “trigger” or “seed”?
It’s unlikely, IMO. Fireworks typically burst at an altitude of between 800 and 1000 feet, whereas rain clouds normally form much higher, between 10,000 and 18,000 feet, typically. While it’s true that rain starts as droplets condending on a nucleus of dust or other airborn particulates, the amount introduced into the air by fireworks displays is probably insignificant. But, it is an intriguing question, so I’ll see if I can’t find some rainfall statistics.
I remember reading somewhere (I’ll try to go find where if you want) that it rains more on weekends, because the smog from the M-F traffic builds up and somehow increases the chance of rain during the weekend. So I don’t think it’s entirely impossible.
But there are probably several other days of the year that have fairly high rainfall, but you don’t notice because they’re not socially significant days.
“It always seems to rain where I am on July 5th”
I’ve noticed the same thing, but I think it’s just that early July is a good time of year for daily showers. If the fireworks had anything to do with it, you’d expect the storms to form downwind from major displays. That doesn’t happen, or at least national radar hasn’t shown much like that in the past 4 years. Rather than “popcorn” storms, those on July 5th this year formed in the unpopulated west, and came across the state in the usual 200 mile long north south line of thunderheads. YMMV.
I’ve never noticed such a correlation here. (San Francisco)
A local radio station puts on a huge show in May that’s roughly three times larger than the municipal show on the 4th (in terms of how many barges they use - the shows launch from barges in the bay) It doesn’t rain the day after the big show or on the 5th of July.
Locals that want to see good fireworks go to the radio show in May - on the 4th of July, there’s almost always so much fog that you just see pretty colored blobs in the sky. :smack:
Well, it rained around here on the 5th, so I guess that’s some more anecdotal evidence for you. I have noticed this apparent pattern, too, but you know how the ol’ brain can find patterns where none exist. I look forward to seeing if anybody can pull up some reliable statistics on this.
I spent the evening of the 4th on the roof of a 29-story building, at most 400 feet above ground, and most of the fireworks in a 20 mile radius of me (in NYC, Westchester, NJ, and Long Island, so plenty of fireworks) were below me. I was an awful lot lower than clouds. Even the professional ones weren’t that much higher than me, perhaps as much higher than me than I was off the ground.
I did recently read about a study that showed that on 9/11 and the subsequent day or two, when there was no airplane traffic at all, the air was significantly cleaner and clearer, but there was no mention of meteorological effects. (The air here in NYC was definitely not cleaner than usual, for a good couple of weeks afterwards, but that’s for obvious reasons unrelated to air traffic.)
Around here, most municipalities plan their fireworks for a day or two before the 4th, to account for possible rain delays. This year, I went to a show on the 3rd. You could see a couple other fireworks shows going on nearby. Sure enough, it rained that evening.
Here in Akron, it rained every day up to the 5th, but not on it.
In fact, according to NOAA, it didn’t rain on the fifth in 1997-2000 (I couldn’t find any other years) and the average precipitation for the 5th is exactly the same as for the 4th or 6th, or for that matter, most of the month.
Do you have statistics for rainfall on July 5 going back several years? If not, you might want to read up on confirmation bias.
I wonder if the case of Walt Disney World is a good example. Most nights, they have 2 huge fireworks displays, one at the Magic Kingdom park and one at Epcot. At least as big as the big July 3 annual display on Chicago’s lakefront. It doesn’t seem to affect the weather that I can tell.
Also, July 4 in Chicago this year was clearer and sunnier than the preceding 3 days.
Now really people, there was a perfectly good brand-new thread on the topic of rainfall following a fireworks display.
All I can say is, if fireworks would make it rain, we’d have a helluva display everynight from June to Sep here in central Texas. But sadly, no, no rain on the fifth, and none predicted for the foreseeable future.
After checking about three dozen cities, including OTTO’s hometown of Madison Wisconsin, in the National Weather Service’s tangle of not necessarly standardized web sites, there is no increase in rain on the fifth in any of those cities. For the most part, I couldn’t find the raw data, except for this year, but in the few instances I did, it backs up the fact that fireworks don’t cause rain.
A quick Google search found no sites that mentioned fireworks causing rain except for two. One was talking about an anime character shooting off fireworks to cause rain and the other talked alot about UFOs and “chemtrails”. Neither struck me as being the most scientifically accurate of sites.
In vast sections of the US, a majority of it, in fact, it does not rain more on weekends than during the week. This article, http://www.cimms.ou.edu/~schultz/papers/rainmore.html at times seems to imply that it does, but a look at the map and numbers, says it doesn’t.