Fireworks winter weather

Many people are looking forward to the spectacular New Year’s Eve fireworks shows. However, everything from snow, wind and humidity can affect not only if you can launch those rockets into the sky, but also what they will look like.

What You Need To Know

  • Heavy snow can make the fireworks’ colors less vibrant
  • Strong winds during fireworks can endanger the public
  • Lightning can strike spectators and unlit fireworks

Ideal weather

Clear skies, light winds and low humidity make for a great show. Extra moisture in the air can distort the colors and make them less vibrant.

Less humidity also means we can enjoy the show a little more because we don’t feel sticky.


(Bradly J. Boner/AP Images for EUKANUBA™)

Snow is okay when it comes to fireworks.

The only problems are heavy snow can obscure the colors, and crews need to keep the fireworks dry in times of heavy snow or they might not light.


We also need to have the right amount of wind. Light wind might not clear the smoke quickly enough, affecting how well you can see the fireworks.  

Too much wind can blow smoke or embers around, endangering people.

Fireworks smoke

Smoke from a fireworks display at Chicago’s Navy Pier filters through the skyline on wind currents from Lake Michigan. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Rain and lightning

Light rain is okay when it comes to fireworks, as long as they are covered or in waterproof bags. A wet fuse will not light.

Storms and heavy rain can lead to canceled or delayed shows. Lightning can pose a major threat, sometimes striking unlit fireworks or even people.

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


Drought conditions can also cause problems. The fallout from fireworks can spark fires when there’s a lot of dry vegetation.

Each year, fireworks spawn many fires.

(Photo by Heather Morrison)

If there is a bad drought happening in your area, avoid setting off fireworks. Often, local authorities will ban the use of fireworks in high fire risk or drought conditions.

However, bigger shows might launch over bodies of water to accommodate for a drought.

So, keep these in mind if you plan on setting off fireworks. Check the forecast first and stay safe!

Our team of meteorologists dives deep into the science of weather and breaks down timely weather data and information. To view more weather and climate stories, check out our weather blogs section.

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