By Brandon Mercer

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Fog is in the forecast for July 4th, 2014, meaning spectacular fireworks displays will look like blobs up in the skies over certain parts of the Bay, depending on where they are in the fog belt.  The fog usually moves in around 7 or 8:00 p.m., and fireworks shows are scheduled for 9:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. around the bay.

The fog base can drop as low as 200 to 500 feet above sea level, according to the National Weather Service’s David Reynolds. Fireworks shells burst at anywhere from 400 to over 1,000 feet, and in that case, the fog wins, dispersing all the beautiful light into a giant glowing cloud of disappointment.

The updated KPIX 5 forecast for Friday night is fog above 900 feet. A good indicator is if the fog on Thursday clears the top of the Golden Gate Bridge towers, at 746 feet, it should be similar on the Fourth of July.

The San Francisco waterfront is most prone to the fog problems, but if this forecast holds, spectators there will still enjoy a good display, at least for all but the highest bursting pyrotechnic shells.  It’s the folks watching from hilltops in the East Bay, or from lawn chairs at parks, hoping for a glimpse of distant shows who will be disappointed when the fog rolls in.  They’ll see bright splotches, but that’s about it if they’re above sea level or some distance away.

Typical summer-time fog patterns have low fog blowing through the Golden Gate Bridge, and then splitting north and south across Berkeley, Albany, and El Cerrito, and Oakland and San Leandro.

For folks worried about fog spoiling their Independence Day view, the best bet is to find one of the 77 local celebrations and get a good seat below the action at your community’s display.


If you’re hoping to glimpse a fireworks show from a hilltop, or across the bay, check the weather forecast page to see how the fog is developing. The South Bay and inland regions will have better luck. San Francisco will likely be obscured unless you’re in Fisherman’s Wharf or along the Embarcadero.

KPIX 5 FORECAST: Zip Code Forecasts


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