Your forecast for the 4th: A soggy Southeast; a scorched Southwest

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Thursday, July 4, 2013 - 7:00am

It'll be firecracker hot in the Southwest on the Fourth of July, but if you live in the Southeast, Ohio River Valley and large sections of the Eastern Seaboard, expect rain to pour on your parade.

Triple-digit temperatures will be the norm across large chunks of California, Nevada and Arizona, as they have been since the weekend. The forecast cools into the 90s by Saturday.

On the other hand, Independence Day picnics will be extra soggy from the Florida panhandle to southern Ohio, with flood watches covering an area some 800 miles long and 300 miles wide.

While dozens of communities across the country canceled or cut back on their celebrations, others will soldier on -- undeterred by nature's temper tantrum.

It is, after all, Independence Day. And we're not about to let anyone dictate what we can or cannot do.

Fourth of July Celebrations

Atlanta's Peachtree Road Race, the world's largest 10K running event, will go on, although organizers did warn that "condtions are less than ideal."

About 60,000 people are expected to take part. So will the rain. The forecast calls for a 100% chance of showers.

In New York, the Statue of Liberty reopens for first time since it sustained significant damage during Superstorm Sandy in November.

A few miles away at Coney Island, thoughts will turn to hot dogs, lots of them. Thursday is the 98th annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog-Eating Contest.

For the famed Brooklyn community, the holiday will signal that the home of the famous boardwalk is back on its feet nearly nine months after Sandy devastated many of its businesses.

Relief and trouble in Arizona

It'll be a more solemn affair in the Southwest, where the extreme heat continues to wreak havoc for firefighters trying to stop Arizona's Yarnell Hill wildfire. The fire, which claimed the lives of 19 firefighters this week, has scorched more than 8,400 acres, about 13 square miles of land.

By late Wednesday, the fire was 45% contained. Officials estimated the blaze might not be contained until July 12.

Forecasters say there's a 30% chance of rain, which could help firefighters' efforts, but lightning and winds from the storm could also spark and fan more flames.

CNN's Tina Burnside and Michael Martinez contributed to this report.


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