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July 3, 2014

Sunny 4th, but chance of rain looms

TRAVERSE CITY — Mandie Carpenter would rather face chilly temperatures than sweltering heat during the National Cherry Festival.

She’s been a regular volunteer at the event with UN-Cats, a feline rescue based in Lake Ann, and remembers working through extreme weather in years past.

Carpenter wore a hooded sweatshirt and sipped hot coffee as she helped set up tents and folding tables at the Open Space on Wednesday afternoon.

“I remember it was 104 degrees one set-up day and it was miserable. This is almost better,” she said.

National Weather Service forecaster John Boris said Traverse City temperatures are seasonably cooler than normal, but sunny skies and warmer weather is on the way for the holiday weekend.

Today will be sunny with a high near 69 degrees, and temperatures should reach the mid-70s for the Fourth of July holiday and on through next week.

“It will be a chilly start to the day, but we’re expecting a good bit of sunshine and not a lot of wind, either, which will be good for boating,” said Boris. “There’s not a lot of humidity, so it should be a pretty nice day.”

Boris said skies should remain clear into the evening on Friday, ideal for fireworks viewing.

Skies should be cloud-free for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels’ practice air show on Friday and performance on Saturday, but showers and thunderstorms could move into the area during Sunday’s show, Boris said.

Linda Fasel hopes the rain holds off until after 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, when the Blue Angels will make their last run.

“Hopefully, we won’t hit any of that rain for that. Everybody has been waiting for the Blue Angels to come,” she said.

Fasel runs Fasel Concessions at the festival each year. She said hot temperatures bring high sales in water, soft drinks and ice cream, and cooler weather generally brings more food sales. Rainy weather can hurt her business because not as many people tend to venture outside when it’s wet, she said.

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