U.S. Independence Day, smack-dab in the middle of summer, is often a hot day for most Americans. Many people head to the beach, mountains, pools and lakes to cool off and spend time cooking hamburger and hot dogs on the grill. What you might not realize is that July 4, 1776 was an unseasonably mild mid-summer day in usually hot and humid Philadelphia.
Thomas Jefferson, one of the country’s founding fathers and its third president, kept an extensive weather journal throughout his life. In his journal entry for July 4, 1776, he observed a 68 degree temperature at 6 a.m., 72 degree reading at 9 a.m. and a 76 degree reading at 1 p.m.
Another Philadelphian, Phineas Pemberton recorded similar temperatures as well as increasing afternoon clouds, a decreasing barometric pressure and a wind shift from the north to the southwest on that famous day. Compared to modern temperature records, the 1776 high temperature of about 76 degrees is nine degrees cooler than the 85 degree normal the city of Brotherly Love experiences. So when you think to colonial days, remember that our founding fathers had a nice day, weather wise, to declare the nation’s independence.
If you’re in charge of the BBQ, here’s a list of items you’ll want to have on-hand to be grill-tastic!:
- A sturdy table that you can use for food preparation and to put out the spread
- Citronella candles or other bug repellants to keep mosquitos and other flying beast at bay
- An extra propane tank (if cooking with gas)
- A food thermometer
- Brushes for spreading barbecue sauce
- Oven mitts
- At least two gallons of water for cleanup
- Trash can with seal lid to keep bugs out
- If cooking with charcoal, a chimney starter so you can avoid using lighter fluid (this will improve food flavor)
You’ll also want to check WeatherBug’s Barbecue Forecast to find out the best time to start grilling!
Have a fun and safe 4th of July!