Pat Shingleton for Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The weather in Philadelphia on Thursday will be hotter than our daytime high with spotty showers forecast for both cities. James Heintze researched weather for the Fourth of July and noted in New York City, from 1789 to 1855, rain fell on 13 “Fourths.” On July 4, 1860, eight members of the German Fusiliers died from sunstroke in a Charleston, S.C., parade. On July 4, 1874, the New York Herald reported “whole blocks of houses” in D.C. lost roofs when a tornado roared through town. In Boston on July 4, 1831, The National Intelligencer reported, “The Northern Lights were beautifully vivid at the close of the 4th.” The hottest Independence Days involve Palm Springs and Las Vegas. Schenectady, N.Y., reported an earthquake on July 4, 1806.

Fastcast: Showers.