Tropical Storm Arthur, the season's first Atlantic tropical cyclone, formed by 11 a.m. Tuesday and is headed up the East Coast. But its potential impact on July 4 celebrations remains unclear.
The storm had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was about 100 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Hurricane forecasters expect it to take a northeasterly track, brushing over North Carolina's Outer Banks and the Delmarva peninsula Friday, potentially at hurricane strength. Thunderstorms are expected to be likely in Ocean City from late Thursday through Friday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
In the Baltimore area, Arthur's impact on the Independence Day holiday remain unclear. The system will push tropical moisture into the region, fueling likely storms in the afternoon and evening hours Wednesday and Thursday, according to the weather service.
A cold front moving through the region Friday as the storm passes to the southeast could fuel more storms during the day Friday, though the tropical system itself is expected to only pose a direct threat to the Atlantic coastline.
But the coast could be clear for any fireworks displays Friday night, according to weather service forecasters:
"AS OF NOW...IT APPEARS THAT MOST LOCATIONS WILL BE DRY FRIDAY NIGHT FOR ANY FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVITIES. HOWEVER...THIS IS STILL SEVERAL DAYS OUT SO PLEASE STAY TUNED TO THE LATEST FORECASTS FOR UPDATES."